Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of South Africa"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Harvard Depository 
Brittle Book 



gitized by Google 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Mtsk^m gltt^otrist €\inn)^ 









Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


THIS is a simple history of the Wesley an Methodist 
Church of South Africa, and also of the Methodist 
Missions in the Transvaal and Rhodesia which are 
under the control of the British Wesleyan Missionary 
Society. I am convinced that there is still a rich mine of 
Methodist lore in South Africa awaiting the research of the 
skilful explorer. I have only been able to scratch the surface. 
The preliminary chapters on the origin of British Methodism 
are intended for Soiith African readers, who may not have 
easy access to the standard works on the subject. 

I am indebted to many ministers and laymen for information 
and photographs, to all of whom I tender my grateful acknow- 
ledgments ; but my special thanks are due to the Rev. F. Mason 
for permission to use his valuable notes on Natal Methodism, 
published in the South African Methodist^ and also to the 
Rev. T. Chubb, B.A., for his careful revision of the proof 

I hope I shall be forgiven by those who are acquainted with 
the native languages for using the plural terms Namaqua, 
Barolong, and Basuto as singulars, and for using the Anglicized 
plurals Namaquas, Barolongs, and Basutos, as they are the 
forms generally employed. 

May this little work deepen the interest of all Methodists 
in their own Church, and quicken their desires for its spiritual 
and material prosperity. 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 






OF SOUTH AFRICA - - - - "34 




THE BRITISH SETTLERS OF 1820 - - " . " 93 



CAPE COLONY - - - - • - I09 


CAPE COLONY {continued) - - - - 141 

THE * CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 - - - 169 

THE * CHAIN OF STATIONS* (continued) - - - 184 

THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1 834 - - - - 1 98 


THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 - - - 231 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 (continued) - - 245 

A GREAT REVIVAL, 1 866 - - - - 263 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 - - - 279 

Vii Digitized by Google 



AN ERA OF EDUCATION {continued) - - 303 





UNZONDELELO - - - - - "399 





Digitized by VjOOQIC 


THE Methodist Church had its origin under God during 
the eighteenth century in the strenuous labours of a 
number of devoted men, the foremost of whom were 
two brothers — John and Charles Wesley. The toil 
and honour of the work were shared by George Whitfield, John 
Fletcher, and many others ; but John Wesley, more than they 
— more even than his brother Charles — was the leader and 
embodiment of the Great Revival, and its history cannot be 
understood except by a brief study of his life. 

John Wesley was the son of Samuel Wesley, who was rector 
of Epworth, a small town of 2,000 inhabitants in Lincolnshire. 
The father was both a poet and a theologian. The mother, 
Susannah Wesley, was not only a woman of deep piety, but 
was distinguished for a * rare intelligence, and exact and orderly 
habits.* John was born in the year 1703, and Charles, his 
brother, was born in 1707. The rectory of Epworth was worth 
/200 a year, but this sum was considerably reduced by the 
payment of various charges, and it was only by the strictest 
economy that the wants of the family were met. Debt, in fact, 
could not be altogether avoided, and when John Wesley was 
two years old the rector was arrested for a small sum — less 
than ;f 30 — which he was unable to pay, and for which he was 
imprisoned in Lincoln Castle. Whilst in prison Samuel Wesley 
was faithful to his calling. * I read prayers,' he wrote to his 
wife, 'every morning and afternoon here in the prison, and 
preach once a Sunday, and I am getting acquainted with my 
brother gaol-birds as fast as I can.' 

The inmates of the rectory at Epworth often felt the pinch 
of poverty, but the mother, Susannah Wesley, was brave and 
cheerful. She taught her children to be orderly and courteous 
to each other. The younger children, if they cried, had to cry 

Digitized by LaOOQlC 


softly ; they had to eat what was placed before them, and no 
eating or drinking between meals was allowed. On their fifth 
birthday they had to learn the alphabet in a single day. They 
had previously be^n taught the Lord's Prayer, and each of the 
elder children had to act as guardian to one of the younger, 
reading with it a chapter of the Bible morning and evening. 
Every evening their mother had a private talk with some of 
her children on religious life. John's evening was on Thursday, 
and years after, when at college, he referred gratefully to the 
help these counsels of his mother had afforded him. 

When eleven years old, in 1714, John Wesley, on the 
nomination of the Duke of Buckingham, was admitted to 
Charterhouse, then a famous school. The food was poor, 
consisting chiefly of bread, and not much of that. He used 
to run round the school garden three times every morning to 
preserve his health. What with hunger and fagging, he had a 
hard time. In 171 6 his brother Charles went to Westminster 
School, where their elder brother Samuel was one of the 

Having gained a scholarship worth £^0 a year, John Wesley 
went, in 1720, when seventeen years of age, to Christ Church, 
Oxford. College discipline was lax, and many of the students 
wasted their time at the taverns; but for five years Wesley 
steadily pursued his studies, and, despite feeble health and 
scanty means, became known as a poet, a logician, and a 
linguist. He had, said Mr. Badcock, a * fine classical taste,' 
and * was gay and sprightly.' He said his prayers daily — read 
the Bible, especially the New Testament ; but his religious life 
was formal, cold, and powerless. 

In the year 1725, to the great joy of his mother, John resolved 
to enter the Church by * taking Orders,' or being ordained 
deacon. He studied Thomas a Kempis and Jeremy Taylor's 
* Holy Living and Dying.* He took the Lord's Supper weekly, 
and he strove after holiness of heart. He grew proud of his 
spiritual attainments. * Doing so much, and living so good a 
life,' he wrote, * I doubted not that I was a good Christian.' 

In 1726 John Wesley was elected Fellow of Lincoln College. 
His father was delighted. * What will be my own fate before 
summer is over, God only knows,* he said ; * but, whatever I 
am, my Jack is Fellow of Lincoln. * The health of the rector 
was failing, and in the following year John left College to act 
as his father's curate. Some months before his departure 
Charles came up to Christ Church College, a bright, lively 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


youth, eager not only to acquire learning, but to enjoy the 
gaities of college life. John spoke to him about religion, but 
Charles flippantly replied: * Would you have me to be a saint 
all at once ?' However, after John had left, Charles became 
serious and devout. He began to study the Bible, and gathered 
around him a few students of congenial mind. They were 
known as the * Holy Club.* In 1729 John returned to Oxford 
at the request of Dr. Morley, the rector of the college, and 
he was at once chosen the president of the club. The mem- 
bers, about ten in number, met on six evenings a week, to read 
and study the Scriptures. They fasted each Wednesday and 
Friday, and received the Lord's Supper every week. Gay, 
careless collegians ridiculed them as * Bible moths,' feeding on 
the Bible as moths upon cloth. But they held on their way, 
and boldly declared that * the Bible is the whole and sole rule 
of Christian faith and practice.' To this doctrine John Wesley 
was, and the Church he founded has always been, unflinchingly 

There was no extravagance in the actions of these * Bible 
moths.' They had set hours for reading the Bible, for self- 
examination and prayer, and they regularly attended the ser- 
vices of the Church. They systematically visited the sick and 
the prisoners in gaol. They were methodical in all they did, 
and, in derision, the college students gave them the name of 
* Methodists.' The quaint name clung to them and their 
followers, though the term has long ceased to be a reproach. 

In April, 1735, Samuel Wesley, the aged rector of Epworth, 
died. At the last the spirit of prophecy seemed to rest upon 
him. * Be steady,' he wrote to Charles, * the Christian faith 
will surely revive in this kingdom ; you shall see it, though I 
shall not.' His vision grew clearer, and he saw in some way 
that his children would share in the noble work. To his 
daughter Emily, he said, * Do not be concerned at my death ; 
God will then begin to manifest Himself to my family.' 

On the rector's death the home at Epworth was broken 
up, and John Wesley went to London to present a copy of 
his father's Commentary on Job to Queen Caroline, wife of 
George II., to whom it was dedicated. Whilst there he was 
introduced to General Oglethorpe, the Governor of the Colony 
of Georgia, in North America, who was in search of clergymen 
to preach the Gospel to the British colonists and the Indians 
in the new settlement. After consulting his mother, John con- 
sented to go, and his brother Charles accompanied him as 

Digitized by VjCfOQlC 


secretary to the Governor. They sailed from Gravesend in 
October, 1735, in the Simmonds, which carried about eighty 
English passengers and twenty-six Moravians. In crossing 
the Atlantic the ship was caught in a terrific storm. Great 
seas swept over the deck and poured into the hold, and many 
of the passengers screamed in fear of imminent death. The 
vessel was expected every moment to founder, but the Mora- 
vians on board calmly sang hymns and prayed to God. * Are 
you not afraid ?* John Wesley asked. * No ! Thank God, no !' 
was the reply. * But are not your women and children afraid ?* 
* No, we are not afraid to die.' John Wesley was ashamed of 
his fear of death, and longed to enter into the secret of their 

The two brothers discovered that the work in Georgia was 
fhll of discouragement, and within a year Charles returned. 
John remained for fourteen months longer, and then he, too, 
sailed for England, and landed at Deal in February, 1738. 
The voyage home was comfortless, and Wesley deplored that 
his Christianity had hitherto been largely one of adherence to 
Church forms. * I went to America to convert the Indians,' 
he lamented, * but who shall convert me ? I have a fair summer 
religion. I can talk well ; nay, and believe myself, while no 
danger is near ; but let death look me in the face and my spirit 
is troubled. Nor can I say, ** To die is gain.** * The blessing 
which hie coveted was not far off. 

In the English Church at this period an important influence 
was exerted by several * religious societies,* the members of 
which met occasionally for fellowship. On the evening of 
May 24, 1738, being Whitsuntide, John Wesley went, as he 
says, * very unwillingly * to a meeting of one of these societies, 
assembling in Aldersgate Street, London. The leader read 
Luther's preface to Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and what 
occurred is best told by Wesley himself. * At a quarter before 
nine, while he was describing the change of heart' which God 
works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart 
strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, 
for salvation. And an assurance was given me that He had 
taken away my sins, even mine, and saved wf from the law of 
sin and death.* The same evening, at ten o'clock, John went 
to tell the glad news to his brother Charles, who was lying ill 
of pleurisy, in Little Britain, and who had been able to trust in 
Christ three days before. They joined in singing the hymn 
Charles had recently composed, commencing, * Where shall 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


my wondering soul begin ?* and in which their new-found joy 
found triumphant expression : 

That I, a child of wrath and hell, 

I should be called a child of God, 

Should know, should feel my sins forgiven, 

Blest with this antepast of heaven.' {Hymn 358.) 

Henceforth the character of the piety of the two brothers was 
completely changed. Formerly they sought peace with God 
by fasting and sdmsgiving, and observance of the ceremonies 
of the Church. Now they sought it by faith in*Christ alone. 
Hitherto they had done God's will in fear and trembling ; now 
they did it With heart-felt joy. They were new creatures. 
They walked with Christ as a living ever-present Saviour, in 
whose service they gladly spent their days. 

John Wesley began to tell forth the truth he had realized. 
With wonderful clearness and amazing spiritual power, he 
proclaimed : (i) That all men are ruined by sin ; (2) that all 
men can be saved by repentance for sin and faith in Christ ; 
(3) that pardon of sin must precede holiness of life ; (4) that 
God's pardon can be consciously known and enjoyed by the 
believer. These doctrines were not new. They were the 
doctrines of the English Reformers — Latimer, Ridley, and 
Cranmer; of the Puritan theologians— Baxter, Owen, and 
Howe ; but for many years they had been hidden beneath cold, 
lifeless sermons on the sovereignty of God, and coffined in 
catechisms and creeds. 

Wesley called on men and women everywhere to repent of 
their sins. He drew no lurid pictures of the miseries of the 
finally lost. In the plainest Saxon, in logical, incisive sentences, 
rarely adorned by either anecdote or illustration, he set forth 
the awfulness and danger of sin ; he declared that God is love, 
and that Christ is seeking the sinner to save him from the guilt 
and power of evil. Personal holiness was essential to com- 
plete salvation. The individual conscience was assailed. 
Promptness of decision was urged. When a Cornish servant 
was asked to explain why the Wesleys succeeded when other 
clergymen failed, the reply was given, * It was the fne and the 
now that made all the difference.' 

Many of the clergy of the Church of England were alarmed 
by the preaching of these doctrines. They accused the Wesleys 
of being Papists, of raising sedition, and of conspiring against 
both Church and State. They refused to allow them to preach 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


in their churches. They even stirred up the people to mob 
them as outlaws and heretics. Excluded from the churches, 

John and Charles Wesley preached in the open air. On public 
ighways, on village greens, at market crosses, on hillsides, in 
churchyards, they proclaimed with extraordinary power salva- 
tion by faith in Christ to the masses of ignorant, unsaved people 
who were outside any and every Church. Sometimes as many 
as 10,000 or 15,000 people assembled. Often was the stillness 
of the summer air broken by the cries of the penitent, the 
awful anguish of conscience-stricken souls. Men and women 
fell prostrate, overwhelmed with shame and despair. Gross 
sinners, hardened hypocrites, exclaimed with pallid faces, 

* What must we do to be saved ?' Men, who had been 
drunkards, swearers, notorious evil-doers, sought the Lord, 
and by the power of the Holy Spirit lived clean, honest lives. 
Miners of Cornwall, collieis of Newcastle and Kingswood, 
weavers of Yorkshire, mechanics in towns, all alike testified 
that they kfiew their sins were forgiven. They had looked to 
Christ and received a new life. The joy of sins forgiven shone 
in their faces ; it broke out in shouts of * Hallelujah !' and it 
sang triumphant songs. 

That was how the Methodist Church began. It arose, not 
out of belief in a new creed, but out of the recovery of the 
Scriptural truth that forgiveness of sins can be consciously 
known by the believer in Christ, and that the soul can be 
delivered from the pollution and power of indwelling sin. 
Men felt in their hearts the love of Christ, and found in Him 
immortal gladness and strength. 

John Wesley and his brother Charles never seemed to tire 
in the delivery of their glorious message of conscious salvation 
by faith in Christ. They rode up and down England and 
Scotland, preaching in churches, chapels, streets, fields, shops, 
barns, or private houses, wherever a congregation could be 
collected. John especially knew not how to spare himself. 

* Cold or hot, wet or dry, good roads or bad, or no roads at all,* 
he rode far and wide, delivering the message of his Divine 
Master. He travelled from 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year. 
Generally, his sermons occupied from thirty to forty minutes, 
but sometimes he scarcely knew how to close. At Stanley, 
near Stroud, he preached to .3,000 people for two hours, * the 
darkness, and a little lightning increasing the seriousness of 
the hearers.* At Epworth he preached on his father's tomb 
one lovely evening in June for nearly three hours, * to such 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


a congregation as Ep worth never saw before.* For half a 
century, Wesley continued at his holy toil. He once wrote : 
* The wind came full in our faces, and we had nothing to screen 
us from it, so that I was thoroughly chilled from head to foot 
before I came to Lynn. But I soon forgot this little incon- 
venience, for which the earnestness of the congregation made 
me full amends.' The untiring evangelist was then eighty- 
seven years of age. The anger of mobs, the rough iisage of 
the brutal, only stimulated him to greater exertions. He was 
pelted with stones, his clothes were torn from his back, bulls 


were driven into the listening crowds, packs of hounds were 
urged against them, clergymen and squires often heading the 
mobs ; but he went on preaching. John Wesley was never 
weary of telling sinful men and women that God loved them, 
that Christ died for them, and that the Holy Spirit being their 
helper they could live holy lives. And the people crowded to 
listen to a man who spoke to them as if he had come direct 
from the presence of God. 

John Nelson, who afterwards became one of Wesley's 
devoted preachers, gives an account of the first time he heard 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 


him preach at Moorfields, in London. *As soon as he got 
upon the stand he stroked his hair, and turned his face 
towards where I stood ; and I thought he fixed his eyes upon 
me. His countenance put such an awful dread upon me 
before I heard him speak that it made my heart beat like the 
pendulum of a clock. And when he did speak, I thought his 
whole discourse was aimed at me. When he had done, I said : 
" This man can tell the secrets of my heart. He hath not left 
me there, for he hath shown the remedy, even the blood of 

iesus." Then was my soul filled with consolation, through 
ope that God, for Christ's sake, would save me.* It is certain 
that at no period, not even at the Reformation, were the 
English people so deeply stirred as they were by the preaching 
of the Wesleys and their helpers. 

Lecky, in his famous work, * A History of England in the 
Eighteenth Century,* asserts that England * escaped the con- 
tagion of the French Revolutionary spirit * chiefly through the 
religious revival which originated with John Wesley. When 
George I. ascended the throne in 1714, the moral condition of 
England was deplorable. The nation was corrupt to the core. 
Immorality was fearfully prevalent in all ranks of society from 
royalty downwards ; and the sacredness of the marriage tie 
was frequently disregarded. Drunkenness was common 
amongst all classes. The landed squire was generally a coarse 
sot, often indulging in the bottle until he fell under the table. 
In 1736 every sixth house in London was a grog shop; and 
Smollett tells us that over many of the spirit vaults might be 
seen the inscription, * drunk for a penny, dead drunk for two- 
pence, straw (to sober off upon) for nothing.* Duels were 
commonplace events. Profane swearing was everywhere 
prevalent; the lawyer swore in addressing the jury, and the 
fine lady swore over her cards. On the south-western coast 
wrecking, or enticing ships on the rocks by the exhibition of 
false signals, was a frequent occurrence, and in many cases 
was followed by the murder of the shipwrecked mariners. In 
the mines, men, women, and children, worked, often in a half- 
naked state. Even the literature of the day did not escape the 
taint, and the writings of Swift, Fielding, and Smollett, though 
undeniably clever, were glaringly indecent. The working- 
classes were brutalized by ignorance, heavy toil, and wretched 
dwellings. Bear and bull baiting were favourite amusements, 
as were also pugilism and cock-fighting. Highwaymen infested 
all the main roads, notwithstanding that the criminal code was 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Draconian in severity, and the law made it a capital offence to 
steal sixpence. After a gaol delivery at Newgate scores of 
miserable beings were dragged on hurdles or carried in carts 
through the streets to Tyburn, amid the shouts of a ribald 
mob, who mocked the mortal agonies of the culprits. The 
prisons were dens of infamy and pestilential diseases. The 
corpses of felons were often left hanging on the gallows to rot 
and fester in the air. Smuggling prevailed all along the coast, 
and to defraud the revenue was considered a laudable exploit. 
Slavery was common ; slaves were advertised for sale in the 
newspapers ; and the mouth of the River Avon, below Bristol, 
was crowded with vessels engaged in the iniquitous slave trade. 
The press-gang was the terror of the coast towns. Bribery 
and corruption infected every borough, and even in Parliament 
votes of members were bought and sold. On the Lord's Day 
crowds of people, in the towns, assembled * to dance, fight and 
swear, and play at chuck-ball, or whatever came next to hand.* 

The churches were almost powerless to cope with these evils. 
Many of the Dissenting Ministers had lapsed into a colourless 
theology difficult to distinguish from bare Deism. The 
Established Church was little more than a political organiza- 
tion, and for spiritual work was well nigh helpless. Not a few 
of the clergy were ignorant and squalidly poor. There were 
nearly six thousand livings under £^0 a year, and more than 
a thousand did not exceed £10 a, year. Many of the clergy 
had lost faith in the Gospel, and spent much of their time with 
the topers at the nearest ale-house. The lampoonist of that 
day held up the village rector to ridicule, as usually * a lettered 
sot, a drunkard in a gown.' The celebrated lawyer Blackstone, 
early in the reign of George III., had the curiosity to canvass 
the fashionable pulpits of London, and said that he did not 
* hear a single discourse which could not have been preached 
by a Mohammedan, rather than by a follower of Jesus Christ.' 
On the other hand, there were clergymen who stood forth as 
bright examples of earnest, exalted piety. Such were Perronet, 
of Shoreham ; Berridge, of Everton ; Simpson, of Macclesfield ; 
Baddiley, of Hayfield ; Grimshaw, of Haworth ; and Fletcher, 
of Madeley. But they resided in remote villages, and were 
little known beyond the limits of their obscure parishes. 

England was lifted out of its ignorance and vice and political 
discontent chiefly by the unwearied labours of the Wesley s 
and their assistants. Trembling with the deepest compassion, 
they faced great sinful multitudes ; and a hush of solemn awe 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


fell upon them, as though they saw the glory of the Divine 
presence. The dishonest, the unclean, the drunkard, sought 
the mercy of God in Christ, often with cries and tears, and 
became pure and honest and temperate. Men who would 
have led riotous mobs Wesley led to Christ, and made them 
his class leaders. Men who would have fought furiously 
against throne and Parliament he made preachers of righteous- 
ness and peace. The result was that when France rang, a few 
years later, with the fierce music of the Marseillaise, chanted 
by defiant mobs to ihe horrors of the guillotine and the 
blazing of country mansions, England heard the sound of 
Methodist hymns supg by thousands in the open air or in the 
humble meeting-houses. When clamours rose for political 
reform, when wheat rose to famine prices, and rioters paraded 
the country roads, the excesses were local and speedily sup- 
pressed. Fifty years of the great Methodist Revival had 
taught the people reverence for law and order, and England 
felt only the faint tremors of that revolutionary earthquake 
which convulsed nearly every nation in Europe. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


THREE names stand out prominently in connection with 
the Great Revival of the eighteenth century, and each 
represents a distinct feature of the new movement. 
George Whitfield was the orator of the Revival. If 
tradition may be accepted, no preacher had ever arisen in 
England who made such a profound impression on the nation. 
His personal appearance was unattractive : he was short and 
stout, his eyes were small and had a slight squint, and he was 
careless of dress ; but his eloquence was irresistible, and he 
was intensely earnest and real. In the words of J. R. Green, 
the historian; * It was no common enthusiast who could wring 
gold from the close-fisted Franklin, and admiration from the 
fe.stidious Horace Walpole, or who could look down from the 
top of a green knoll at Kingswood on 20,000 colliers, grimy 
from the Bristol coalpits, and see as he preached the tears 
making white channels down their blackened cheeks.* Whit- 
field was a Calvinist in doctrine, and at an early date separated 
from the Wesleys, and the two brothers were left to carry on 
the work. 

Charles Wesley was the poet of the Revival. He wrote 
more than 6,000 hymns, many of which are unsurpassed in 
the English language for subUme thought, tender feeling, and 
fervent piety. They were chaste, concrete, beautiful, and 
appealed to the common people without offending the refined. 
Sometimes the poet seems to be scarcely conscious of using 
metaphor. Take the lines : 

• One army of the living God, 
To His command we bow ; 
Part of His host have passed the flood, 
And part are crossing now.' 

The swollen river, the army on the farther shore, their com- 
rades wading through the rapid stream, the commander watch- 
ing the operation — how real it all is ! 

" Digitized by LnOOgle 


Equally fine are the lines : 

• Hark ! how the watchmen cry. 
Attend the trumpet's sound ! 
Stand to your arms, the foe is nigh. 
The powers of hell surround. ' 

The beleagured city, the surrounding hosts of the foe, the cry 
of the watchmen, the shrill blast of the trumpet, the marshalling 
of arms — the picture is complete. No] hymn-writer has sur- 
passed, and few have 
equalled, Charles Wesley 
in setting forth spiritual 
truth by exquisitely-drawn 

Then his hymns were 
rich in melody, and in the 
best of them there * is a 
lyrical swing which invited 
to singing.' Charles Wes- 
ley's hymns were sung on 
the moors of Yorkshire, in 
the slums of seaports, and 
in the galleries of Cornish 
mines. Within a few years 
they were heard in the 
plantations of the West 
Indies, amid the snows 6f 
Canada, and in the frag- 
rant groves of Ceylon. 
It was an age of ignor- 
ance and scepticism, and 
these hymns, proclaiming a joyful confidence in Christ, an 
assured victory over sin and death, and a triumphant hope of 
heaven, came as a surprise to thousands, and lifted their 
thoughts to God and another world. Some of the hymns have 
been accepted by the universal Church. * Hark ! the herald 
angels sing * is sung throughout Christendom every Christmas 
morning. * Christ, the Lord, is risen to-day * is sung every Easter 
Sabbath. * O for a thousand tongues to sing ' has expressed 
in every land the joy of the believer in Christ. Such hymns 
as those commencing, * Come, sinners, to the Gospel feast,' 
* Ho ! everyone that thirsts, draw nigh !' set forth in thrilling 
strains the universality of the Gospel message. * Jesu ! lover 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



of my soul * has comforted countless death-beds ; and * Hark, a 
voice divides the sky * has been sung over thousands of open 
graves. Charles Wesley had no sympathy with the modern 
wistful, baffled mood of vague sentiment. He lived on the 
heights of a sunlit trust in God. No theme so fired his muse 
as the love of Christ. * O ! love Divine, how sweet Thou art!* 
and * Love Divine ! all loves excelling * are among his sweetest 
hymns. Methodism, in fact, could not have succeeded as it 
did without its incomparable psalmody. Strangers who 
attended John Wesley's services from curiosity, or to find 
theme for ridicule, were often startled by the burst of congre- 
gational song, telling of a source of gladness to them unknown. 
Not unfrequently they were subdued to tears, and remained to 
pray. Charles Wesley's hymns have been the pssdter, the 
liturgy, and the creed of the Methodist Church. 

John Wesley was the organizer, the statesman, of the new 
movement. In oratory he was surpassed by Whitfield. As a 
hymn-writer he was not equal to his brother. But whilst he 
had in no small degree the excellencies of both, * he possessed 
qualities in which they were utterly deficient — a cool judgment, 
a command over others, a faculty of organization, a singular 
union of patience and moderation which marked him as a ruler 
of men.* Macaulay, in his essay on Southey, says that John 
Wesley's * genius for government was not inferior to that of 
Richelieu,' the famous prench Cardinal-statesman. If by 
genius is meant inventiveness, originality, brilliancy, Macaulay 's 
expression is not a happy one. The most striking feature of 
John Wesley's life was not the elaboration of novel and brilliant 
plans, but the sagacious adaptation of himself and his actions 
to the circumstances of the moment. In this he widely differed 
from the great theologian of the Reformation, John Calvin, 
who drew up a complete Church system, which John Knox 
afterwards embodied in Scotch Presbyterianism. John Wesley 
wrote : * We had no previous design or plan at all ; but every- 
thing arose just as the occasion offered. We followed com- 
mon-sense and Scripture.' In this manner one institution after 
another was formed, each appearing as it was needed, an ap- 
propriate garment for the expanding spiritual life. It was this 
open-mindedness, this readiness to accept the teaching of in- 
disputable facts, this quick perception of what was best to be 
done in new circumstances, which made John Wesley, to use 
the words of the Rev. Guinness Rogers, * one of the most re- 
markable statesmen ever found in the Christian ministry.' 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


When the national churches were closed to the Wesleys, and 
they were compelled to preach in the open air, it speedily 
became apparent, from the uncertainty of the English climate, 
that sheltered accommodation would have to be provided. 
Private rooms were tried, but they were too small. Places of 
worship had to be built, and the first was erected in 1739 in 
the Horse Fair, Bristol. At the time John Wesley had no 
money, but * I know,' he said, * the earth is the Lord's and the 
fulness thereof, and in His name set out, nothing doubting.* 
The second was opened the same year at the King's Foundery, 
near Finsbury Square, London. A few years before, whilst 
the cannon taken from the French by the Duke of Marlborough 
were being recast, a^ tremendous explosion took place, and 
killed several workmen. Wesley bought the ruined building, 
and here he erected a chapel to seat 1,500 persons. A band- 
room was added, with living-rooms upstairs, in which John 
Wesley and his mother lived. For nearly forty years these 
buildings were the headquarters of Methodism. In 1776 
Wesley erected, on a contiguous site, a larger edifice, known 
as the City Road Chapel, which, improved and beautified in 
recent times, is now recognised as the cathedral of British 
Wesleyan Methodism. On the south side of the chapel still 
stands the house in which Wesley and his preachers lived, and 
in w^hich he died, in the year 1791, aged eighty-seven years and 
nine months. 

These two structures were followed by the erection of Wes- 
leyan chapels all over the British isles. By the year 1767 
there were 100 in different parts of the country. These places 
of worship reflected the poverty of the builders. They were 
painfully plain, and often hidden away in obscure streets, but 
everyone represented the love and sacrifice of a poor and lowly 
people. John Wesley referred to them as * rooms,' and * preach- 
ing houses,' but at a later date the word * chapel * came into 
use, and was employed for nearly a century. With increasing 
wealth and improved taste arose a demand for artistic struc- 
tures, and as the term * chapel ' conveyed the idea of a subor- 
dinate place of worship, it is now generally discarded for the 
more appropriate designation * church.' 

To secure economy of working, adjoining churches and con- 
gregations were grouped together, and in this way sprang into 
existence Circuits, which at first were very large, and sometimes 
included several English counties. In 1746 England was 
divided into seven circuits. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The work soon grew beyond the power of the Wesleys to 
compass. Assistance was urgently needed, yet how could it 
be provided ? Amongst the new converts were men fired with 
zeal for the salvation of the people, but Wesley, not yet free 
from the High Church notions he had acquired at Oxford, 
strongly opposed lay preaching as unauthorized. Whilst he 
was on one of his journeys in 1 742 he heard that plain Thomas 
Maxfield had begun to preach, and he rode hurriedly back to 
London to stop the innovator. His mother, who was then 
residing at the Foundery, met John Wesley with the caution : 
* John, take care what you do with respect to that young man, 
for he is as surely called of God to preach as you are.* Wesley 
heard Maxfield preach, was convinced, and said : * It is the 
Lord : let Him do what seemeth to Him good.' His scruples 
vanished, and henceforth he justified lay preaching. * Jesus 
Christ,' he said, * was a lay preacher/ A noble band of helpers 
gathered round Wesley. Some of them, notably John Nelson, 
Thomas Walsh, Thomas Olivers, and Christopher Hopper, 
and many others, became circuit preachers, and their names 
are linked with that of Wesley in the early history of Methodism. 
They were his sons in the Gospel, and he gave them his affec- 
tion and confidence. But most of the lay preachers remained 
at their business, and, on the Sabbath, preached two or three 
times, walking to their appointments twenty and even thirty 
miles. Thus originated the great body of Local Preachers. 
Untold good followed their labours. Remote villages were 
visited, the rural populations were evangelized, and new 
churches were formed. There can be no doubt that, without 
the unpaid labours of the local preachers, the progress of 
Methodism would have been arrested, and its influence limited 
to the large towns. 

The wide circuits often contained twenty or thirty towns or 
villages, which were visited in turn during a * round ' of several 
weeks' duration. On these tours the fare of the preachers was 
that of their humble hosts, and scornful critics spoke of them 
as * Brown Bread Preachers.' Probably there had not been 
since Apostolic times a band of men more unselfish in spirit or 
more devoted. They expected conversions under every sermon, 
and rarely were they disappointed. FaciUties for travelling 
'were few, and the long journeys were made either on foot or 
on horseback, with saddle-bags stocked with Methodist books 
for sale. They preached Christ to multitudes who never 
entered a church. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


For years the preachers received little money payment. At 
the first Conference, held in 1 744, the rule was adopted : * Take 
no money from anyone. If any give you food when you are 
hungry, or clothes when you need them, it is good ; but not 
silver or gold.' In the year 1752 the preachers were allowed 
;^i2 a year for clothes, provided the people were pleased to 
pay it, but even this small sum was seldom given. Board and 
lodging were provided by the members of society. These men 
were certainly in a higher succession than any conferred by 
human hands. They learned, like the Apostles, to endure 
poverty with patience, and suffering without a murmur. 

The early Methodist preachers were mighty in the Scrip- 
tures, reading them daily, often on their knees; but, a few 
excepted, they had received little education. Schools were 
few and inefficient, and the Universities were closed to the 
children of Nonconformists. The preachers had an extensive 
knowledge of practical and experimental divinity, but many of 
them were scarcely equal to the demands of a settled pastorate, 
to which, on other grounds, Wesley was opposed. * Were I to 
preach,* he said, * one whole year to the same people, I should 
preach myself and most of my congregation asleep.' At another 
time he wrote : ' We have found by experience that a frequent 
change of teachers is best. This preacher has one talent, that 
has another. No one, whom I ever yet knew, had all the 
talents which are needful for beginning, continuing, and per- 
fecting the work of grace in a whole congregation.* Hence 
arose the Itimrancy. The term of residence was one year, but, 
after a time, some of the preachers were reappointed for a 
second year, and occasionally for a third year. At that limit 
the term of residence in Great Britain was finally settled. 

In 1744 Wesley invited several clergymen, and four of his 
helpers, to meet him in London, at the Foundery, and converse 
on the work of God. The subjects of their conversation were: 
(i) What to teach ; (2) how to teach ; (3) how to regulate doc- 
trine, discipline, and practice. Thus originated the Conference^ 
which has met in unbroken succession for 160 years, which has 
grown into a powerful organization, and spread into daughter 
Conferences all over the world. In 1784, Wesley, when eighty- 
one years of age, constituted by deed 100 of his preachers as 
the legal Conference, which was to be the supreme legislative 
body in the Methodist Church. He provided by this act for 
the permanence of Methodism as an independent ecclesiastical 
organization. In this document he established for Methodism 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


through all time a definite and separate existence as a Church. 
In 1 791 the * Legal Hundred ' resolved that all preachers in 
full connection, and permitted to attend Conference, should 
share equally with themselves in their deliberations and deci- 
sions. In 1877 laymen were admitted to the Representative 
Session of the Conference, in which financial matters chiefly 
are considered. 

At a very early period it was found that the converts needed 
counsel. Their spiritual experiences were sometimes perplex- 
ing, and they came to John Wesley with the entreaty : * We 
want you to talk with us often, to direct and quicken us on our 
way, and to give us the advices which you well know we need.* 
* I asked,' replied Wesley, * Which of you desire this ? Let 
me know your names and places of abode. They did so, but I 
soon found,' he continued, * they were too many for me to talk 
with severally so often as they wanted. So I told them : " If 
you will all of you come together every Thursday, in the even- 
mg, I will give you the best advice I can." Thus arose what 
was afterwards called a Society ' (Works, viii., 249, 250). 
This was in 1739. 

Wesley discovered that there was need for more systematic 
supervision. Some gave way to sin, others became indifferent ; 
but how was he to control them, scattered, as they were, * from 
Wapping to Westminster * ? 

John Wesley has related how the difficulty was overcome 
and Christian fellowship regained. * At length, while we were 
thinking of quite another thing, we struck upon a method for 
which we have cause to bless God ever since. I was talking 
with several of the Society in Bristol concerning the means of 
paying the debts there (on the Room in the Horse Fair, Broad- 
mead), when one Charles Foy stood up and said : ** Let every 
member of the Society give a penny a week till all are paid." 
Another answered : ** But many of them are poor, and cannot 
afford to do it." " Then," said he, " put eleven of the poorest 
with me, and if they can give anything, well ; I can call on them 
weekly, and if they can give nothing, I will give for them as 
well as myself. And each of you call on eleven of your neigh- 
bours weekly, receive what they give, and make up what is 
wanting." It was done. In a while, some of these informed 
me, they found such an one did not live as he ought. It struck 
me immediately, This is the thing, the very thing, we have 
wanted so long. As soon as possible the same method was 
used in London, and all other places.' (Works, viii., 252.) 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


For various reasons personal visitation was found incon- 
venient, and it was subsequently arranged that the members 
should meet at some central place weekly, join in praise and 
prayer, tell forth their spiritual experience, and tlie leader give 
counsel and encouragement. This was the origin of the Class 
Meeting, in the year 1742. The women took an equal part 
with the men, and some of the women were made class 
leaders. Among the earliest shine the names of Mrs. Fletcher, 
Mrs. Hester Ann Rogers, and Lady MaxwelL 

The Class Meeting as a means of spiritual fellowship is 
unique. No other Church possesses it, though some equivalent 
for it is frequently sought. Its value to Methodism is almost 
beyond computation. In the weekly meeting, when rightly 
conducted, members are stimulated to the highest spiritual 
life. No one is allowed to be idle or useless. The young 
convert is encouraged ; he learns to pray audibly, and is 
trained to be a Sunday-school teacher, a local preacher, or 
even a minister. Poor and sick members are brought under 
notice. Disorderly members are reproved. The comparative 
neglect of the Class Meeting in the Methodist Church of 
South Africa is not a healthy sign, for fellowship is a necessity 
of Christian life, and it is significant that in a time of spiritual 
revival, it is eagerly sought. Methodists are urged by their 
past history to put forth every efifort to increase the efficiency 
and influence of this important institution. 

The leaders of the classes are practically lay sub-pastors, 
and in each society form a council of advice and control. 
This is the Leaders' Meeting. The Society stewards receive 
from the leaders the contributions of the members for the 
support of the ministry. * Methodism has no endowment but 
the grateful givings of its people.* The Poor stewards take 
charge of the money given by communicants for the poor at 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The leaders and 
stewards, the local preachers, the trustees of the chapels, the 
senior superintendent of the Sunday-school, with the ministers 
of the circuit, compose the Quarterly Meeting, which is the 
chief local church council, and meets once in three months. 
It is a council of church workers. 

The various Methodist communities were at first called 
*The United Societies;' but gradually they developed into 
the * Methodist Church.' The simple wants of the societies 
were supplied by the class leaders and itinerant lay-preachers. 
But the needs of the people increased, and the organization 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


expanded. The preachers became ordained ministers ; the 
sacraments were reverently administered ; leadeis' meetings 
became local courts of discipline ; the societies were closely 
federated ; and the rights of the pastors and laity were defined. 
The societies developed into a highly-organized church. It is 
as unhistorical as it is unscriptural to assume that a society 
and a church are two distinct institutions, the one inferior or 
antagonistic to the other. They are two names of the same 
institution at different periods of growth. A society is a 
church in its initial stage, a fellowship. A church is a society 
in its fully-organized form. Of both, Christ is the head and 
the hidden life. 

Thus, Christianity itself began as a society, having a very 
simple form, and the first believers 'continued steadfastly 
in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in breaking of bread, 
and the prayers.* 

Methodism began as a society, and the new converts met for fellow- 
ship in their class meetings, band meetings, and love-feasts. 

The Apostles did not at once break with Judaism, but 
preached Christ in the Temple courts until they were arrested 
and imprisoned. 

John and Charles Wesley refused to separate from the English 
Church, but preached Christ from its pulpits until they were thrust 
out by an intolerant clergy. 

The Apostles had no prepared plan of action. They 
appointed deacons and elders just as the need arose, and as 
Providence seemed to indicate. 

John Wesley had no prearranged system. He appointed stewards 
in London, class-leaders in Bristol, and superintending-elders for 
• America, only as they were needed. 

The early Christians went * everywhere, preaching the 
Word,* and no restraint was laid upon them because they 
were not ordained. 

The Methodist converts, unordained laymen, carried the Gospel to 
the remotest villages of England, and even to the West Indies, New 
York, and Canada. 

The first Christians were persecuted and imprisoned, and 
had to suffer injury, contempt, and death. 

The Methodists were mobbed and stoned, and cast into prison, and 
were treated, a& Wesley says, • as if they had been mad dogs. ' 

2 — 2 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


The members of the eaily church moved freely to and fro, 
and were provided with * letters of recommendation/ or 

* certificates of character,' ensuring a hearty welcome wherever 
they went. 

Each member of the Methodist Society received every quarter a 
ticket or voucher of membership, which secured for the possessor of 
it a hearty recognition from Methodists in any part of the world, as it 
does at this day. 

At Antioch, the followers of Christ were in derision called 

* Christians.' 

At Oxford, John Wesley and his godly companions were contemp- 
tuously called * Methodists. ' 

The first Christians were chiefly persons in humble life — 
fishermen, publicans, and soldiers ; for, said Paul, * not many 
wise after the flesh — not many noble, are called.' 

The early Methodists were largely drawn from the working classes — 
miners, mechanics, traders—and from them came the men and women 
who rose often to social pre-eminence, examples of thrift, intelligence, 
and Christian zeal. 

These are more than coincidences. Rarely has history 
presented so striking a parallel, as in the growth of Christianity 
in the first century, and the development of Methodism in the 
eighteenth. Methodism is, in fact, a replica of the early 
Christian Church, modified to meet changed conditions. 

John Wesley would have been the last to claim that he had 
created Methodism. He was led by the hand of Providence 
to adopt, often very reluctantly, methods of action from which 
at the outset he shrank. Preaching in the open air was 
abhorrent to his refined taste. He once thought the * saving 
of a soul almost a sin, if it had been done outside a church.' 
He lived to write, * It is the field preaching which does the 
execution for usefulness ; there is none comparable to it. . . . 
O, what a victory would Satan gain if he could put an end to 
field preaching !* He was a loyal son of the Church of England, 
trained to revere its order, its prayers, its festivals, and its 
saints' days. Yet that God's work might not suffer he sacri- 
ficed his tastes, and broke nearly every law and usage •f the 
English Church. He preached in the open air and in uncon- 
secrated buildings. He offered extemporaneous prayer. He 
employed unordained preachers ; he formed societies, and drew 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 


up laws for their government. A simple presbyter himself, he 
ordained presbyter-bishops for America and presbyters for 
England and Scotland, that after his death the sacraments 
might be administered by duly ordained ministers. He ap- 
pointed an annual Conference. These innovations were made 
unwillingly, and not until they were forced upon him. In 1788 
he said : * We did none of these things till we were convinced 
we could no longer omit them but at the peril of our souls.* 
At another time he exclaimed : * Church or no church, we must 
save souls.* Loyalty to his church yielded to his loyalty to 
Christ. Under the shaping of the Divine hand, rather than 
under the hand of John Wesley, Methodism grew into a church. 
Wesley had no misgiving as to the scripturalness of his 
action. When the question was asked, * What is a church ?* 
he replied, * As where two or three are met together in His 
name, there is Christ ; so (to speak with St. Cyprian) where 
two or three believers are met together, there is the church,' He 
brushed aside all the unscriptural claims of others to exclu- 
sively represent apostolic practice. The church, rudimentary 
no doubt, is where two or three believers meet. Pastors, 
sacraments, hymnals, music, organization, will follow ; but the 
form- they are to assume is nowhere laid down in Scripture. 
These are left to be arranged according to local need and the 
sanctified intelligence of believers. Wesley was very confident 
on this point. He considered it was unanswerably proved 
that * neither Christ nor His apostles prescribe any particular 
form of church government. The plea of Divine right for 
Diocesan Episcopacy was never heard of in the primitive 
church.* (Works, xiii. 211). In apostolic times the pres- 
byter-bishop w^as simply the pastor of a church or churches, 
and corresponded in many respects to the Methodist super- 
intendent of a circuit. The validity of his ministry depended 
not on human ordination, but upon the direct call of God. In 
this way Paul vindicated his apostleship. He was * an Apostle, 
not of man, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ.* The proof 
of his apostleship was not in the imposition of human hands, 
but in the signal success of his labours. * The seal of my 
apostleship are ye (Corinthians) in the Lord.* And this is the 
final test of the scripturalness of a church. When sinners are 
saved, and know their sins are forgiven, when evil-doers become 
examples of holiness, when degraded populations are changed 
and elevated, when cannibals forsake their fiendish tastes and 
practice self-denial and pity, when idolaters cast their idols 

^ ^ ^ digitized by LnOOgle 


away and worship God in the beauty of holiness, there is an 
end of all controversy. * The Lord is in His holy temple ; let 
all the earth keep silence before Him.* 

*What God has stamped with His own seal requires no 
countersigning on the part of a human ecclesiastical func- 
tionary. The Divine mark remains indelible unless erased by 
the Church's own unfaithfulness. The candlestick stands in its 
place until He remove it ; and it is for Methodists, ministers 
especially, to see that the lamp He has kindled burns with clear 
and pure and world-illumining flame.' * 

* Rev. W. T. Davison, M.A. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


JOHN WESLEY, Charles Wesley, John Fletcher, and 
many of their coadjutors, were men of the highest 
culture and ability, but in the absence of a national 
system of education it is not surprising that the new 
converts largely consisted of unlearned men. Happily, the 
deficiency of scholastic training did not disqualify them for 
spiritual work. The early Methodists were enthusiastic evan- 
gelists. They loved to tell how the Lord had saved them from 
sin. No collegiate education was required. The man might 
have no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, and only an imperfect 
acquaintance with his own language, but he could stand on the 
steps of a market cross, or under the shadow of a tree, and say 
to anyone who would listen : * Christ Jesus came to save the 
lost ; He has saved me.* He needed no State aid, no minister, 
and no funds. The carpenter could leave his bench, the smith 
his forge, the tradesman could step from behind his counter, 
and each in his way could testify : * I have found peace with 
God ; there is salvation in Christ for all.* In this manner the 
Gospel was carried to many and distant lands. 

In the year 1747 John Wesley landed in Dublin, and found 
that already a society of 300 members had been formed. 
Charles Wesley arrived a few weeks later. Protestants and 
Papists alike flocked to hear their words. A year later violent 
persecution set in, and the Methodists could not be seen in 
public without being mobbed. But the work grew, and Irish 
Methodism has many brilliant pages in its history. 

In 1 75 1 Wesley visited Scotland. Several soldiers on their 
return home had formed societies at Dundee and Musselburg, 
and Wesley was invited to preach to them. He went, and at 
different periods visited Scotland twenty-two times. * I per- 
ceive,' he says, * that the Scots, if you touch but the right key, 
receive as lively impressions as the English*' The work ex- 

^^ Digitized by LnOOgle 


tended to the inhabitants of the Shetland and Orkney Islands, 
They were plain fisherfolk, who up to that time had been left 
almost without any spiritual instruction. 

A longer flight was soon taken. Nathaniel Gilbert, Speaker 
of the House of Assembly in Aiitigua, whilst on a visit to 
England, heard John Wesley preach, and became a decided 
Christian. Upon his return to Antigua, in 1760, hje held 
services in his own house, and addressed the negro slaves. 
His slave-holding neighbours violently opposed ; but he con- 
tinued his efforts, and formed a society of 200 persons. After 
his death, the members were held together by two black 
women. In 1778, John Baxter, a shipwright, landed, and 
after working in the dockyard by day, he travelled to the 
different plantations in the evenings, holding services for the 
slaves, until the arrival of Dr. Coke, in 1786, when he resigned 
his civil appointment, and became a Wesleyan minister. 
From Antigua the work spread to the other islands of the 
West Indies. 

In 1760 a party of Irish Methodists emigrated to North 
America, among whom was Philip Embury, a local preacher, 
who was well-informed, but timid, and by trade a carpenter. 
Barbara Heck, another Methodist, was distressed at the pre- 
vailing wickedness in New York, and appealed so earnestly 
to Embury that he commenced services in his own house. 
Captain Thomas Webb, recently arrived from England, joined 
the little congregation, and, preaching in full uniform, with his 
sword lying before him on the table, soon became so popular 
that a church was built for him in John Street — the first 
Methodist Church in America. In 1775, Coghlan, a layman, 
began to preach in Nova Scotia; and about the same time, 
Newfoundland was occupied. Devout emigrants, pious mer- 
chants, godly soldiers, who had found the Saviour at Methodist 
services in England, carried the seeds of Gospel truth far 
and wide. 

In 1769 many of the British colonists in New York and 
Boston sent an urgent entreaty to John Wesley for a minister 
to take charge of the infant societies in those cities. * Send us 
a preacher,* they wrote, * for the good of thousands send one 
at once.* At the Leeds Conference, that year, Wesley called 
for volunteers. Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor 
offered to go. A collection was made to pay their expenses, 
and ;^7o were obtained. Of this amount, £^0 went to pay for 
their outfit, and ;^2o for their passage. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Two years later, a further appeal came from America, and 
Richard Wright and Francis Asbury offered their services. 
Asbury was then twenty-six years of age, and in the New 
World his activity rivalled that of John Wesley in England. 
He laboured with a self-denial never surpassed. He swam or 
forded rivers, he crossed snow-covered mountains, and braved 
the perils of lonely forests to preach the Gospel to a scattered 
population. During his forty-five years of ministerial work, 
it is calculated that he rode or walked 270,000 miles, preached 
16,500 sermons, presided over 224 conferences, ordained more 
than 3,000 preachers, and witnessed an increase of 200,000 
members. He continued his labours, even when with old age 
he became so infirm that he had to be assisted up the pulpit- 
stairs and sit while he was preaching. He was a pioneer of 
the apostolic type, with a salary of 64 dollars, or about £1^ 
a year. He died in 1816. 

In 1775 the unfortunate American War commenced, and 
men of the same race and language were arrayed against each 
other in deadly strife. Taxes were imposed by the British 
Parliament on tea, glass, and paper entering American ports. 
The colonists protested on the ground that * where there is no 
representation there cannot justly be any taxation.' George HI. 
and his rash advisers lightly entered upon a war which inflicted 
upon British arms a series of disgraceful defeats. The English 
generals were incompetent, and the mismanaged strife ended 
in the independence of the colonists, and the formation of 
* The United States.' Then came the crisis which was to 
determine the character and form of Methodism in that 

Methodists had rapidly increased in the Northern and 
Eastern States. They possessed numerous places of worship, 
but they had no ordained ministers to administer the sacra- 
ments, and their children were growing up without baptism. 
On the establishment of the Republic most of the Anglican 
clergy left for England, and 18,000 Methodists were left with 
little pastoral care. They wrote letter after letter to John 
Wesley, imploring help. As a loyal son of the English 
church, he applied to Dr. Lowth, Bishop of London, under 
whose authority America was nominally placed. ' Would he 
ordain some of the Methodist preachers for the States ?* The 
Bishop was one of the most learned and liberal Prelates of his 
day ; but his reply was cold, almost cynical : * There are three 
clergymen ii;a th9,t QQuptry already.' Wesley made a^nother 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


appeal : * True, my lord ; but what are three to watch over 
all the souls in that extensive country !* The Bishop vouch- 
safed no further reply. 

John Wesley was not one to turn a deaf ear to the entreaties 
of 18,000 people who had been gathered into Christian fellow- 
ship by his followers. * I mourn for poor America,' he 
exclaimed ; * for the poor sheep scattered up and down therein.' 
He had sought the help of Bishop Lowth, only to be repelled. 
Wesley crossed the Rubicon, and himself consecrated Presbyter- 
Bishops for the American Methodist Church. 

At one time, Wesley held the High Church theory of 
Apostolic succession and priestly authority ; but his study of 
Scripture and church history, and pre-eminently his conversion, 
had done much to uproot the narrow prejudices in which he 
had been trained. In 1746 he abandoned much of his High 
Churchmanship. He knew, so far as the New Testament was 
concerned, that * Presbyter * and * Bishop * were two names for 
the same office. He knew that the government of the church 
by Bishops as a superior order had absolutely no existence in 
apostolic times. * Many years ago,' he wrote, * I was con- 
vinced that Bishops and Presbyters are the same order, and 
consequently have the same right to ordain. ... I firmly 
believe I am a Scriptural Episcopos (or Bishop) as much as 
any man in England or in Europe ; for the uninterrupted 
succession I know to be a fable, which no man ever did or can 
prove.* (Works, xiii, 251, 253). 

The apostles, as such, could have no real successors. Those 
who came after them did not inherit their supernatural gifts, 
and could not claim their authority. To those who in modem 
times claim to be exclusively in the line of apostolic descent, 
it is sufficient to reply, that the law of the kingdom still abides : 
* Ye shall know them by their fruits.' In the Episcopal 
Churches, whether Papal or Anglican, there have unfortunately 
too often existed in past times hunting and drinking clergy- 
men, dissolute popes, and worldly bishops ; men who dared to 

• Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold, 
Blind mouths, that scarce themselves knew how to hold 
A sheephook, or have learnt aught else the least 
That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs.' 

And it is a dishonour to the Holy Spirit to suppose that 
these shameless men possessed the fulness of Divine grace, 
and were endowed with special spiritual powers, because on 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


their heads had rested for a moment a prelate's hand. And it 
is no less a dishonour to the Holy Spirit to suppose that men 
of holy character, like Bunyan and Matthew Henry; theologians, 
like Calvin and Chalmers ; preachers, like Spurgeon and 
Maclaren ; missionaries, like Calvert and Hunt and the Shaws ; 
men whose lives and writings were instrumental in leading 
thousands to the Saviour, were not in the true ministry, 
because they had not been ordained by Bishops. In most 
emphatic language, John Wesley said : * Uninterrupted suc- 
cession from the Apostles I never could see proved, and I 
am persuaded I never shall.' (Works, iii., 44). Bishop 
Stillingfleet, himself a learned prelate of the English Church, 
had the candour to acknowledge, in his Irenicon : * Apostolic 
succession is as muddy as the Tiber itself.' 

The true scriptural doctrine of Apostolic succession Wesley 
stated with his usual incisiveness : * Must not every man, 
whether clergyman or layman, be in some respect like the 
apostles, or go to hell ? Can any man be saved if he be not 
holy like the apostles, a follower of them as they were of 
Christ ? And ought not every preacher of the Gospel to be in 
a peculiar manner like the apostles, both in holy tempers, in 
exemplariness of life, and in indefatigable labours for the good 
of souls ? Woe unto every ambassador of Christ who is not 
like the apostles in this, in hoHness, in making full proof of 
his ministry, in spending and being spent for Christ !* (Works, 
viii., 210.) 

For four years Wesley waited. The American colonies had 
gained their political independence. The English Episcopal 
Church had nearly ceased to exist in the States. Wesley pro- 
ceeded to consecrate Presbyter Bishops and ordain ministers 
for the American Methodist churches. On September i, 1784, 
he wrote in his journal : * Being very clear, in my own mind, 
I took a step which I had long weighed in my mind . . . which 
I verily believe will be much to the glory of God.' At greater 
length : * I have appointed Dr. Coke and Mr. Asbury to be 
joint superintendents over our brethren in North America, as 
also Richard Whatcoat and T. Vasey to act as elders among 
them.' He consecrated Dr. Coke at Bristol with his own 
hands, and then sent him across the Atlantic to set apart 
Francis Asbury, and invest him with equal power to ordain 

At the American Conference held at Baltimore in 1787 the 
Methodist ministers present adopted the Episcopal form of 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Church government, and resolved to use, instead of the Latin 
word Superintendent,* its Greek equivalent, Bishop. John 
Wesley did not object to the adoption of Episcopacy, but he 
did to the use of the word Bishop, as it might give offence to 
the National Church. The colonists, however, considered 
they were free from any allegiance to the English Episcopal 
Church, and adhered to the change of title. What value was 
there in the name of an office ? The man who filled the office 
was the chief consideration. In American Methodism the 
Bishops are not a separate and superior order, but first among 

equals — superior in office 
only. They are Presbyter- 
Bishops, who visit the 
churches in rotation, pre- 
side over the conferences, 
and arrange the appoint- 
ments of the preachers. 

The results have amply 

justified Wesley's action. 

^K- ^^k^» ^^^K Methodism took a firm 

^^ ^^1^^^ ^^^^P ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ American 

' ^^^^C^ -^^^^^M^ people. Its itinerant 

system was admirably 
adapted to a sparsely- 
settled country. It sought 
the immigrant in forest 
solitudes and by cabin 
fires. It was the Gospel 
on horseback. * Its free 
methods enabled it to 
follow the settlers every- 
where, to speed westward 
with the speed of an arrow's flight, to surmount the Alleghanies, 
to take possession of Kentucky and the Indian border. Thus 
Methodism became the religion of pushing, pioneering American 
settlers, and has retained not a little of its pushing, pioneering 
character.' The Methodist Episcopal Church in the United 
States, in all its branches, now comprises 39,220 ministers, 
56,787 churches, and 6,084,755 communicants, and is the 
largest voluntary Protestant Church in the world. 

* As used by Wesley, superintendent=bishop. The senior minister 
of an English circuit wg^s called syi 'assistant,/ and his colleagues 
' helpers^' 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



The missionary work of Methodism centred for many years 
in Dr. Coke, who had formerly been a clergyman of the English 
Church, but was dismissed from his curacy because of his 
zealous labours, and joined Wesley in 1777. He had a passion 
for Missions, and, by his ability to help out of his own purse, 
as well as by his fervent appeals to others for financial aid, he 
was able to initiate a work which, from that day to this, has 
been the crown and glory of Methodism. 

The chief objects of Dr. Coke's care were, at first, the 
Methodist churches in the West Indies, Slavery existed 
throughout the islands, and the condition of the slaves on the 
sugar plantations was deplorable. Of morality there was none. 
The Sabbath was a day for heavy drinking and obscenity. On 
some of the islands the early Methodist evangelists were con- 
verted negroes, and, when ministers arrived, thousands of 
slaves received them with gladness. The planters, who were 
for the most part living in a state of fearful immorality, took 
alarm, and laws were passed which prohibited Methodists from 
instructing the slaves. 

In 1792 Dr. Coke visited the West India Islands for the 
third time, and found persecution at its height. At Eustatius 
the missionary was not allowed on the island, and the slaves 
were forbidden to hold prayer-meetings. At St. Vincent the 
Rev. J. Lamb had been thrown into prison, but through the 
grated windows he preached to the negroes, who Hstened with 
tears flowing down their faces. At Grenada the Government 
had tried to silence Mr. Owens by offering him a living worth 
;^8oo a year, but he preferred to teach the slaves. At Demerara, 
at a later date, the church was attacked, its doors broken in, 
and the benches thrown into the streets. But the success of 
the missions could not be arrested. With the entrance of the 
Methodists a new era dawned on the islands, and the improve- 
ment of the slaves was marked. Instead of riots and indecent 
processions on the Sabbath, the slaves, clad in neat apparel, 
thronged the streets on their way to the house of God. For 
seventy years — from 1760 to 1834 — no Methodist slave was 
proved guilty of incendiarism or rebellion, then frequent 
offences. The Emancipation Act of 1834 put an end to the 
persecution, and Methodist missionaries were left free to pur- 
sue their peaceful labours. 

In his old age Dr. Coke pleaded to be sent to Ceylon. There 
was some objection offered on account of his years ; but the 
zealous evangelist exclaimed : * I would rather be set naked on 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


the coast of Ceylon, and without a friend, than not go. Such 
enthusiasm bore down all opposition. 

With a band of devoted men, he sailed in 1819, and here, 
for the first time, Methodism came into touch with South 
Africa. He was accompanied by the Rev. J. M* Kenny, who 
had been appointed to Cape Town. Leaving him at Table 
Bay, the vessel crossed the Indian Ocean, and, when near 
Ceylon, Dr. Coke was found dead in his cabin. It is supposed 
that, feeling ill in the night, he had risen to call for help, and 
had fallen on the cabin floor from an attack of apoplexy. The 
body was buried at sea. Dr. Coke had for years devoted all 
his private wealth, and his time and energy, to the extension 
of the work of God. The idea of the conversion of the world, 
lost to the Church for centuries, was recovered chiefly by 
William Carey, the Baptist, and by Dr. Coke, the Methodist, 
and has largely shaped the religious history of the nineteenth 

Pending Dr. Coke's departure for Ceylon, it was resolved in 
England that the missionary movement should be cared for by 
the whole Methodist Church. In October, 181 3, a meeting 
was held at Leeds to promote the formation of a Missionary 
Society. There were eighteen resolutions submitted, and thirty- 
six speakers addressed the meeting. By the year 181 8 the 
Missionary Society was fully formed, and the first annual meet- 
ing was held in the City Road Chapel, and lasted six hours. 
Such was the enthusiasm of those days. 

The missionary operations of the Society from the commence- 
ment rapidly extended. In 1804 the first station in Europe 
was occupied by the appointment of the Rev. James M'MuUen 
to Gibraltar, and Methodist hymns were sung under the 
shadow of the Lion Rock. 

In i8ii four Methodist missionaries sailed from Liverpool 
for Western Africa, where some negroes from Nova Scotia 
had commenced Methodist services. Within eight months 
George Warren, one of the four, died of malignant fever — the 
first of a long series of missionaries who have consecrated the 
soil of that deadly land with their sacred dust. In 1821 the 
Gambia was occupied by the Rev. John Morgan, and the Gold 
Coast Mission was commenced in 1835 by the Rev. Joseph 
Dunwell. Abeokuta was occupied in 1842, and Lagos in 1852, 
where the Rev. T. Freeman, himself the son of a slave, laboured 
with untiring energy for twenty years. 

The Rev. James Ly;ach settled at Madras in 1817, where, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


five years later, he was joined by the Rev. Elijah Hoole. 
Gradually the work extended over that vast peninsula. Bombay 
was occupied in 1817, Bangalore in 1820, and Calcutta in 1829. 

In 1 81 5, the Waterloo year, the Rev. Samuel Leigh, after a 
voyage of six months, landed in New South Wades. Five 
yesurs later Methodist missionaries were labouring in Van 
Dieman's Land, used for years as a convict settlement. The 
work extended, and Methodism spread over that fair southern 
island-continent. In 1821 the Rev. W. Horton was put in 
charge of Tasmania. In 1836 the Rev. John Orton went to 
Victoria. In 1841 the Rev. S. Wilkinson was sent to Mel- 
bourne, and in 1850 the Rev. John Watsford commenced 
services in Queensland. 

In 1822, with the earliest emigrants, Methodism entered 
New Zealand, and the Rev. Samuel Leigh commenced a 
mission amongst the Maori tribes. In the same year the 
Friendly Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, were added to the 
list of Methodist mission fields. The Revs. John Thomas and 
John Hutchinson were appointed, and eight years later there 
was a wonderful revival in the islands, and one result was a 
resolve to carry the Gospel to the cannibals of Fiji. 

In 1835 the Revs. William Cross and David Cargill landed 
in the Fiji Islands, and commenced what was pronounced to 
be a hopeless mission. At some of the cannibal feasts as 
many as 100 human bodies were cooked and eaten. In 1838 
John Hunt and James Calvert arrived, and, assisted by native 
teachers from Tonga, Methodism made rapid progress. Within 
a few years every trace of cannibalism and heathenism was 
destroyed. The fierce chief Thakombau became converted, 
and a member of the Methodist Church. Throughout the 
eighty inhabited islands of Fiji every family now begins and 
ends the day with family prayer, and 42,000 children receive 
instruction in 1,500 day-schools. 

In 1 85 1 George Piercy went to China at his own expense, 
and laboured among the English soldiers at Hong Kong ; but 
he soon removed to Canton, and commenced work among the 
Chinese. In later years a hospital was opened at Fatshan, a 
large manufacturing town, fifteen miles north of Canton, and 
stations were established at Hankow and Wuchang. 

Returning in our record to Europe, so early as the year 1791, 
William Mahey went from the Channel Islands and introduced 
Methodism into France, where it struggled slowly upward 
against the opposition of Papists, the indifiference of sceptics, 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


and the poverty of its members. In 1837 Paris, Calais, and 
Boulogne appeared on the Minutes as circuits. Some noble 
names have graced the French Wesleyan ministry, notably, 
Charles Cook, William Cornforth, William Toase, Jean 
Lelievre (one of Napoleon's soldiers, who gave three sons to 
the French ministry), James Hocart, and Matthew Gallienne. 

In 1837 Sweden appeared on the Minutes of Conference, and 
the Rev. George Scott laboured there for twelve years. In 
1824 the Rev. John Keeling was sent to Malta, the Rev. 
Charles Cook went to Palestine, the Rev. D. Macpherson was 
at work in Alexandria, and in 1827 the Rev. W. O. Croggan 
was stationed at Zante, in Greece. But all these ventures, for 
various reasons, ended in failure. 

In 1830 Christopher Gottlieb visited England, and in a 
Methodist chapel found Christ as his Saviour. Returning to 
Germany he held services, formed classes, and by 1836 had 
gathered around him 448 church members, and a band of forty- 
six lay preachers. Thus began Methodism in Germany, which 
prospered under the care of the Revs. Dr. Lyth and J. C. 
Barratt ; and then, to prevent rivalry, the work was handed 
over in 1896 to the American Methodist Episcopal Church, 
which had extensive missions in various parts of Germany. 

The Rev. Richard Green commenced missions in Italy in 
i860, and next year was joined by the Rev. H. J. Piggott. 
From Milan the work spread to Florence, Spezzia, Bologna, 
and Naples. Methodist missionaries entered Rome in 1870 
with the troops of Victor Emmanuel, and now possess in 
that ancient city a church, schoolroom, manses, Bible depot, 
and rooms for work among the Italian troops. 

At an early period the Methodist Churches of the United 
States and Canada formed their own missionary societies, 
which work harmoniously with British Methodism. English 
and American missionaries are together penetrating the dark- 
ness of Western Africa British and American Methodists 
are working side by side in India. Both churches are labouring 
in China ; the American missionaries in Middle and Northern 
China, and British missionaries in the South of that vast 
empire. Both are at work in Italy with the happiest results. 
Canadian and United States Methodism have missions in Japan, 
and the people of the * Empire of the Rising Sun ' are finding 
in the Gospel of Jesus Christ a fairer Hght than ever shone on 
and or sea. 

The work of Carey and Knibb, from the Baptists ; of Ellis, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Williams, and Moffat from the Congregationalists ; of Patter- 
son, Hannington, and Selwyn from the Anglicans ; of Duff, 
Chalmers, and Paton from the Presbyterians; of Calvert, 
Hunt, and the Shaws from the Wesleyans ; and scores of 
equally eminent missionaries, have revived the glories, and 
repeated the triumphs, of the apostolic age. There is no im- 
portant section of the human race the Gospel has not touched 
and tra.nsformed. The polished Hindoo, the plodding China- 
man, the cannibal Fijian, the degraded negro, the supersti- 
tious Kafir — all have accepted the glad tidings of salvation. 

The day is advancing, the shadows are deepening, the 
twentieth century finds half the world still heathen. Increasing 
labour and devotion must be put forth if the churches are to 
realize the golden age when * every knee shall bow, and every 
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God 
the Father.' 

Works which should be read by those who wish to extend their 
knowledge of Methodism, 

' Wesley's Journal,' students' edition, 4 vols. los. 

Tyerman's ' Life of Wesley.' Out of print. 

Soutbey's ' Life of Wesley.' Wame and Co., 2s. 

Telford's * Life of Wesley.' Kelly, 5s. 

Smith's ' History of Methodism.' 15s. 

Stevens's ' History of the Religious Movement of the Eighteenth 

Centurjr, called Methodism,' 3 vols. los. 6d. 
Hurst's ' History of Methodism,' 3 vols. Kelly, 25s. 
Slater's * Methodism in the Light of the Early Church.' 2s. 6d. 
Dr. Rigg, ' Was John Wesley a High Churchman ?' id. 
Dr. Gregory, • Handbook of Scriptural Church Principles.' is. 

Digitized by C^OOQIC 


SOUTH AFRICA was unknown to Europe until the 
fifteenth century. In i486 Bartholomew Dias, a brave 
Portuguese sea-captain, with three small ships of 
scarcely fifty tons each, slowly crept down the western 
coast of Africa, and rounded the bold southern cape. In 
1497 Vasco da Gama, scarcely less famous than Christopher 
Columbus as a discoverer, passed round the Cape, and, boldly 
crossing the Indian Ocean, opened up a sea-way for the 
lucrative trade with India. A century later English ships 
began to call at Table Bay ; and in 1620 two English 
captains hoisted the British flag on the Lion's Head, and 
proclaimed the country British territory. Unfortunately, 
England was soon convulsed by the war between Charles I. 
and his Parliament, and had no time -to think of colonial 

So the country was left to be occupied by the Dutch. In 
1652 the Netherlands East India Company sent out Jan Van 
Riebeek, a doctor, to establish a provision station at Table 
Bay, in order to supply their Indian ships with fresh meat and 
vegetables. The Company thought more of securing huge 
dividends for the shareholders than of making a prosperous 
settlement for farmers, and against their oppressive rule many 
of the burghers rebelled. Spanning their oxen to their tented 
waggons, they * trekked' into the vast plains of the interior, 
where they could hunt and farm at pleasure. By the end of 
the eighteenth century, the white farmhouses of the Dutch 
were seen as far north as the Compassberg, beyond GraafF 

The Dutch, wherever they went, took with them the Bible 
and their Psalm-Book. They daily gathered the family 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


together for the reading of Scripture and for prayer ; but away 
from the influences of European civilization, without newspaper 
or literature of any kind, they became ignorant, intolerant, and 
cruel in their treatment of the native races. 

So early as the year 1737 the Moravians, in the person of 
George Schmidt, commenced a mission amongst the Hottentots. 
Schmidt was an extraordinary man, and had been imprisoned 
for six years in Europe for his Protestantism. Reading of the 
degraded condition of the Hottentots, he sailed for Table Bay, 
and commenced a mission for their benefit at Genadendal 
(Vale of Grace) in the Caledon district. The authorities gave 
him every facility for his work ; but when he proceeded to 
baptize his converts, the Dutch clergy opposed, and George 
Schmidt had to leave the country. The work was abandoned 
for fifty years. 

In 1799 the agents of the London Missionary Society 
entered South Africa, and with great self-denial devoted them- 
selves to the Gaikas in Kafirland, and the Griquas near the 
Orange River. Later arrivals, notably Dr. Moffat, laboured 
in Great Namaqualand and Bechuanaland. But among the 
slaves and the numerous native races in Cape Colony there 
was still ample room, even urgent need, for the work of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Church. 

In the year 1806, as one of the results of the war between 
England and France, the Cape became British territory. 
When the British flag was hoisted on the Castle at Cape 
Town, Henry Martyn, the famous Indian missionary, then on 
his way to India, was present, and recorded in his journal : 
* I prayed that the capture of the Cape might be ordered to the 
advancement of Christ's kingdom ; and that England, whilst 
she sent the thunder of her arms to distant regions of the 
globe, might show herself great by sending forth men to 
preach the Gospel of peace.' How that prayer was in part 
answered, how Wesleyan missionaries were guided to South 
Africa, has now to be told. 

One of the British regiments sent to the Cape was the 
2 1st Light Dragoons, and amongst its non-commissioned 
officers was Sergeant Kendrick, who was a Methodist of the 
best Yorkshire type. He had been converted at Leeds under 
the ministry of the Rev. George Morley ; and, being intelligent 
and zealous, he had been appointed a class leader and local 
preacher. At Cape Town he commenced religious services 
for the benefit of his comrades in the regiment, and 120 soldiers 

3 — 2 , 

Digitized by V^OOQIC 


became devout Christians. They were opposed and bitterly 
persecuted by some of their officers, and in order to escape 
molestation they assembled for prayer at the foot of Table 
Mountain. Sergeant Kendrick sent an urgent request to the 
Wesleyan Missionary Committee in England that they should 
send out a minister to take charge of the work ; and, as we 
have seen, the Rev. J. McKenny sailed with Dr. Coke, and 
landed at Cape Town in August 1814. 

The Rev. J. McKenny was instructed by the Missionary 
Committee to preach to the soldiers, and such of the white 
inhabitants as might be willing to attend his ministry ; but he 
was to pay special attention to the large slave population, for 
whose spiritual improvement little had yet been attempted. 

According to certain Dutch ordinances taken over by the 
English in 1806, religious services could not be held without 
the consent of the Governor. Mr. McKenny applied to Lord 
Charles Somerset for permission to officiate as a Christian 
minister, but was met by a decided refusal. *The soldiers 
have their chaplains provided by Government,* he replied, 
* and if you preach to the slaves, the ministers of the Dutch 
Church may be offended.* The Governor could scarcely act 
otherwise, for he was closely watched. A few years before 
an Anglican military chaplain had been informed against by 
the Dutch clergy for baptizing adults who did not belong to 
the garrison. In Europe the Dutch had been the foremost 
champions of religious liberty ; but their exclusive occupation 
of the Cape for 150 years had made them intolerant, and they 
were slow to grant to others the freedom they promptly 
claimed for themselves. Mr. McKenny waited for several 
months, hoping that the restrictions would be removed ; and 
then, weary of his compelled inactivity, he sailed for Ceylon. 

The disappointed soldiers in Cape Town renewed their 
appeal to the Missionary Committee, who, not without hope 
that a second attempt might succeed, sent out the Rev. 
Barnabas Shaw. He and his wife sailed in the Eclipse from 
the Thames on December 20, 181 5. In order to take 
advantage of the trade winds, the vessel crossed the South 
Atlantic as far as Rio de Janeiro, where they remained two 
weeks provisioning the ship. Then, putting again to sea, they 
completed a weary voyage of 116 days, and landed at Cape 
Town on April 14, 1816. 

This man, to whom African missions became an exalted 
passion, was born in 1 788, at EUoughton, a village about eight 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


miles from Hull, in Yorkshire. His father, Thomas Shaw, 
was a yeoman farmer ; and from a boy Barnabas, like most 
youths of his class, had to handle the plough, the sickle, and 
the flail. Though tall and thin, he was strong, athletic, and 
vigorous. The hard training of the farm fitted him to endure 
the severe labours of a new mission in a desert land. He had 
a taste for mechanics, and when occasion required he could 
make a plough or build a house with his own hands. He was 
converted when young, and at the age of twenty began to 
preach. No difficulty or opposition daunted his buoyant 
spirits. When designated by the Missionary Committee for 
Cape Colony, he at once commenced the study of the Dutch 
language, under Baldwin Janson, then resident in London, 
and the author of a Dutch grammar ; and before Mr. Shaw 
had been a year in South Africa he could preach fluently in 
that language. 

The spiritual condition of the population of Cape Town was 
lamentable. The religious needs of the soldiers were supplied 
by the military chaplains in a cold, perfunctory manner. The 
few English families were unprovided with any pastor. 
Thousands of slaves were without religious knowledge, and 
their owners preferred that they should remain ignorant. 
Official opposition continued, and Lord Somerset expressed 
his regret that he could not sanction the commencement of 
a Wesleyan Mission in Cape Town. But Mr. Shaw calmly 
moved forward. * Having been refused the sanction of the 
Governor,* he wrote, * on the following Sunday I commenced 
without it. If His Excellency was afraid of giving oirence to 
the Dutch ministers and the English chaplains, I had no 
occasion to fear either the one or the other. My congregation 
was at first chiefly composed of pious soldiers, and it was in 
a room hired by them that I first preached Christ crucified 
in South Africa.* 

The military officers took alarm. They cherished the notion, 
happily long ago exploded, that if soldiers became Christians 
they would be spoilt as fighting-machines. At Wynberg the 
men had built for themselves a little Wesleyan Church ; but 
the colonel of the regiment ordered it to be burnt to the 
ground. They then built another in the forest, on land 
belonging to Captain Proctor, who did not share the colonel's 
alarm, and in it Mr. Shaw held his services. At Simonstown, 
the only place in which he could preach, was a small room 
belonging to a soldier of the 83rd Regiment. Discouraged by 

.digitized by VjOOQIC 


the persistent opposition, and chafing against the narrow limits 
of his work, Mr. Shaw's thoughts began to turn to the heathen, 
for whose evangelization he considered he had been chiefly 
sent out. 

But where was he to go ? He sought the advice of Lord 
Charles Somerset, as one who had an extensive knowledge of 
the country ; but the Governor, whilst expressing his readiness 
to assist in having the heathen taught 'habits of industry,' 
could not recommend any particular place, as the natives were 
scattered thinly over the land. So Mr. Shaw prayed, and 
waited for direction. 

Several months elapsed, and then, as he believed, the direc- 
tion came. The Rev. H. Schmelen, of the London Missionary 
Society, and whose station was in 
Great Namaqualand, arrived in Cape 
Town, accompanied by about twelve 
native Christians. Mr. Shaw invited 
them to his house, and the account he 
received of the degraded condition of 
the various Hottentot clans, and of 
their wiUingness to receive the Gospel, 
deeply impressed him. He seemed to 
hear a voice from the unknown beyond, 
saying, * Come over and help us.' 
Mr. Schmelen offered him the use of 
part of his own house, and his aid in 
acquiring a knowledge of the Namaqua 
language. But the undertaking in- 
volved such hardship and peril that 
Mr. Shaw shrank from proposing it 
to his wife. When, however, Mr. Schmelen spoke in her 
presence of the desire of the Namaquas to receive the Gospel, 
Mrs. Shaw exclaimed : * We will go with you. The Lord 
is opening our way to the heathen.' Mr. Shaw, though 
delighted with the heroic spirit of his wife, said : * But look at 
the cost of a waggon, and oxen, and stores!' The brave 
woman replied : * If the Missionary Society is offended, tell 
them we will bear all the expense ourselves. We have a little 
property in England, and for this let it go.' Mrs. Shaw shares 
with her husband the honours of the Namaqua Mission. 

When Lord Charles Somerset was applied to for a permit 
to proceed beyond the frontier, he advised Mr. Shaw not to 
leave the Colony, and even offered to appoint him as a minister 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



of one of the Dutch churches if he would remain ; but he 
replied, * I feel my mission is to the heathen — I must go.* 
Very reluctantly the passport was granted. The Governor 
was autocratic, hot-tempered, and proud of his aristocratic 
descent, but he could respect a man of Mr. Shaw's courage 
and devotion. 

A waggon and twelve oxen, with everything requisite for the 
journey, were purchased, and, on September 6, 181 6, Mr. and 
Mrs. Shaw set out with Mr. Schmelen on his return to Bethany, 
intending to settle in Great Namaqualand. The country 
through which they travelled was sparsely inhabited, and after 
they had passed Picquetberg they entered a district utterly 
destitute of roads. There were no waggon-tracks in the shift- 
ing sands. Often the heat was excessive, and the oxen suffered 
from the want of water. The Dutch farmers on the way 
treated them with profuse hospitality. Mr. Van Aarde offered 
them open house whilst they rested on his farm. Mr. Van 
Zyl, of Uitkomst, supplied them with a bag of meal, three 
goats, and five sheep, and, when payment was preferred, 
generously said : * You come and dispense to me and my faniily 
the bread of life. It would be strange indeed if I could not 
give you a little provision to help you through the wilderness.* 
These were not the only instances of Dutch hospitality. The 
Rousseaus, of Picquetberg ; the Englebrechts and Coetzees, of 
Kamiesberg ; and the Bassons of Groot Vallie, always extended 
a hearty welcome to the Wesleyan missionaries in their 
journeys to and from Namaqualand. After nearly a month's 
travel the missionary party arrived at the Olifants River, which 
was swollen by heavy rains. The contents of the waggons had 
to be taken across in a boat, and the waggons were drawn 
through the flooded stream with great difficulty. Then followed 
a journey over the Karee, or arid desert, in which they found 
a little water, but it was salt and black with impurity. 

They had not advanced many miles across the Karee when 
Mr. Shaw received what he considered to be a clear providen- 
tial indication of his future sphere of labour. Wearily travel- 
ling over the sandy plain, he was met by Jantje Wildschot, 
the chief of Little Namaqualand, and four of his tribe, who 
were on their way to Cape Town to procure a Christian teacher. 
They had already come 200 miles, and Mr. Shaw was deeply 
impressed by this unexpected meeting in the trackless desert. 
Had either party started but half an hour earlier on its journey 
they would not have met. He who brought Philip and the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


eunuch together near Gaza — the one to receive, the other to 
give, of the Word of Life — had again, in a far-distant scene, 
brought together for a similar purpose Mr. Shaw and Jantje 
Wildschot. Mr. Shaw readily consented to accompany the 
Namaquas to their own country. When within a few miles of 
the chief's winter residence, Naamrap, they were met by twenty 
Namaquas riding on oxen, which were guided by wooden bits 
thrust through the cartilage of the nose. Drawing up in line, 
they uncovered their heads, and, waving their hands, they 
shouted to Mr. and Mrs. Shaw : * Good day ! Welcome ! 
Welcome to our land !* They then rode off at full speed to 
announce the approach of the visitors. If the reception was 
somewhat dramatic, it was sincere, and augured well for the 

The day after their arrival a council of the tribe was held, 
and Mr. Shaw preached to the people, Mr. Schmelen acting as 
interpreter. Every face was lit up with a smile when it 
became known that the Christian teacher was willing to dwell 
among them. They would give land for a station, and water 
with which to irrigate the garden. The missionary could keep 
cows and goats for the use of his family. They would gladly 
assist to erect a church and a house. They were eager to 
learn the way of salvation, faint rumours of which had come 
to them from other tribes. So the final step was taken. Mr. 
Schmelen departed on his way to Great Namaqualand, and 
left Mr. and Mrs. Shaw behind, not without tears on both sides 
and warm hand-clasps, as of men and women who knew they 
were not likely to see another white face for months, perhaps 
for years. 

By a rough mountain journey over rugged and dangerous 
passes, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and the Namaquas proceeded to 
Lilyfontein, in the Kamiesberg, the summer residence of the 
tribe, and there, in the midst of barbarism, the missionary and 
his heroic wife settled. The loneliness of their position was 
often painfully felt. No postal system linked them with dis- 
tant friends : they were effectually cut off from civilization. On 
the other hand, the station was healthy ; the mountains rose 
picturesquely 5,000 feet above sea-level, and a perennial stream 
of pure water gushed out from under one of the peaks. The 
air was dry and bracing. In the west, on a clear day, could 
be seen the blue waters of the Atlantic. But that which 
chiefest gave courage and hope was the conviction that they 
had been led thither by the guiding hand of God. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


THE Namaquas were a Hottentot tribe of unmixed 
descent, for in their desert home they had come little 
into contact with other races. They were of a yellowish 
brown colour, and their hair grew on the head in tufts. 
Their noses were flat and broad, their eyes wide apart, their 
lips thick, and their cheek-bones prominent. They had small 
hands and feet, and beautifully white teeth. Their dress, when 
they wore any, consisted of a kaross made of the skins of goats 
or wild cats. Their chief food was milk and the flesh of 
animals killed in hunting. Their language abounded in clicks 
made by striking the tongue against the palate or the teeth. 
They lived in mat huts, which were an imperfect protection 
against the cold mists and gales that occasionally rolled up 
from the Atlantic. 

• Sore pierced by wintry winds, they sink 
Into the sordid hut of cheerless poverty.' 

Of religious truth the Namaquas appeared to know little. 
They had scarcely any knowledge of a Supreme Being, and 
when taught they were puzzled with the problem of an omni- 
potent God and human suffering. * If there is a God,* angrily 
said an aged man, * why does He not cure the pains in my 
back ?' Another, who had lost his horses, said : * If I find the 
horses I will believe. If I do not, then there is no God.' Any 
attempt by Mr. Shaw to explain the nature of sin, or the 
necessity of conversion, was met by a shake of the head, and 
the avowal : * I cannot understand it.* They had a feeble com- 
prehension of numbers. * Many could not count five,' wrote 
Mr. Shaw ; * a few could proceed as far as ten, and then only 
by using the fingers.* One or two, clever beyond others, could 
count up to twenty with the extra aid of the toes. If asked to 
add two and four and six, they had to abandon the attempt in 

41 Digitized by LnOOQlC 


despair. Yet these same men could detect the absence of a 
single sheep or goat out of a flock of several hundreds. It 
must not, therefore, be supposed that the Namaquas were 
mentally feeble. In the desert, without written language or 
literature, there was little to stimulate their mental develop- 
ment. As might be expected, they were acute in observation, 
but weak in abstract calculations. 

The Namaquas had few wants, and were consequently 
indolent. To have plenty of meat and milk, to lie in the sun 
and smoke, to possess numerous wives who did the heavy 
labour — this was a Namaqua paradise. They could not be said 
to have any morals, and their feasts were scenes of gross sen- 
suality. New-born children were often thrown into the bush 
to die of cold or be devoured by wild beasts. The neighbouring 
farmers were frequently heard to say, no doubt in scorn, that 
the Namaquas were *a species of wild dogs, and had no souls/ 

The work of Christianizing these degraded people seemed 
hopeless, but Mr. Shaw was full of enthusiasm. *Were I 
seated on a throne,' he said, * I would gladly descend from it 
to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to these African 

At first Mr. and Mrs. Shaw lived in a native hut, without 
door, window, or chimney. It was so small that they thought 
it was an advantage to have no furniture. They sat on boxes, 
and slept on the floor. The erection of a small cottage was a 
laborious task, for there was no suitable timber within thirty 
miles, and besides the journey to the Naauwe River, the cutting 
down of the trees, the sawing into planks, and the building of 
the house, had to be done by Mr. Shaw himself. He also 
made tables of slabs of granite. No corn or vegetables could 
be obtained, so he dug up a piece of ground and sowed it with 
lettuce, peas, onions, and radishes. The growth of the plants 
was carefully watched, and when a little later Mr. and Mrs. 
Shaw were seen eating the lettuces, the Namaquas, to whom 
agriculture was an unknown art, exclaimed : * What a wonder- 
ful thing is this, that the mistress and you can eat grass ! 
You will never die of starvation.' By the end of the year 
Mr. Shaw was an adept in making his own butter and soap 
and candles. His manual labour was a daily object lesson to 
the Namaquas, teaching them the simpler crafts of civiliza- 
tion. The evenings and the Sabbaths were devoted to religious 

Occasionally the difficulties of his position appalled him. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


* Here I toil and labour, and see but little fruit. The best of 
my days are going, and I gain no useful knowledge, and I am 
forgetting all I ever knew. My companions are ignorant 
Hottentots. O ! this Africa ! this solitary land, this land of 
darkness, of fatigue, and non-improvement !* This bittern-like 
cry was, however, but for a moment. Courage and hopefulness 
soon returned. 

The Namaquas had hitherto led a nomadic life, subsisting 
on the spoils of hunting. To induce them to settle on the soil 
and become agriculturists Mr. Shaw made a plough. He had 
brought with him from Capetown some ploughshares, coulters, 
and tools. He made a rude forge, and the people flocked 
around, watching with wonder the evolution of the strange 
implement. When the iron was taken out of the fire and sub- 
mitted to the strokes of the hammer, they fled before the sparks, 
exclaiming: * We never saw anything like this before ; the fire 
flies after us !' When the plough was finished and put to 
work their astonishment was unlimited. They laughed and 
shouted : * Look ! look at its mouth, how it bites and tears up 
the ground !* The achievements of the plough excited many 
of the Namaquas to desire one, and in a short time six ploughs 
were made and put to work. The reproach that missionaries 
devote too much time to spiritual duties and too little to 
material improvement could not be cast at Mr. Shaw. With 
him both were promoted with almost equal zeal. Before he 
left Lilyfontein nearly 2,000 bags of wheat were annually 
grown where before not a grain had been sown. 

Mr. Shaw preached in Dutch, as many of the Namaquas 
had acquired a knowledge of that language whilst in the employ 
of Dutch farmers. For those who understood Namaqua only 
it was easy to find an interpreter from amongst those who 
understood both languages. At first the services were held 
every Sabbath, and frequently during the week, in the open 
air, in the shadow of a rock, or under the branches of a mimosa 
tree, and often after the toils of a laborious day spent in building 
or ploughing. But Mr. Shaw knew that the best results could 
not bs obtained until a place was set apart for Divine worship. 
In the second year of his residence he attempted to erect a 
church. The building proceeded with painful slowness. A 
drought had set in, food was scarce, and the people were too 
weak to undertake heavy manual labour. Many were wearing 

* hunger girdles,' straps drawn tightly round the waist to lessen 
the pangs of hunger. Assisted by Jantje, the chief, Mr. Shaw 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


obtained a donation of about thirty sheep and goats from the 
wealthier men and offered to feed the labourers in return for 
their work. The building was now carried on with alacrity. 
Aged men made the bricks, young men quarried the stone and 
cut the timber, the women wove matting for the roof, and the 
children tramped clay for mortar, singing in their toil verses 
of Dutch hymns. When the building was completed, it was 
dedicated to God with prayer and praise ; and though no lofty 
spire rose above its roof, and no light fell on the congregation 
from richly painted windows, within its humble walls many a 
Namaqua found the Lord. 

The services were from the first marked by deep attention 
and great emotion. Savages are but children, and have no 
idea of restraining their feelings. Often during the sermon 
they would weep and moan over their sins. Individuals fell 
prostrate upon the floor, and seemed unable to rise. Some of 
the Gospel narratives, as the healing of blind Bartimeus, the 
woman of Samaria, and the Canaanite mother who cried after 
Jesus, made a deep impression on their untutored souls. Some 
were plunged into deep distress, and lay on the ground weeping 
bitterly. Jantje sobbed : * All the sins that I have committed 
from my childhood to this day are put before my eyes.' 
Hendrik lamented \ * After I heard the word, such was my 
distress I fell to the ground, and my sins, like a great nail, 
seemed to fasten me to the earth.* A woman said: * I feel 
something like a serpent in my heart ; I hate it, but know not 
how to get rid of it.* 

These simple Namaquas in their distress cried unto the 
Lord ; they resorted to the glens and the rocks and spent 
hours in prayer. By faith they rested on Christ for salvation, 
and their darkness was turned into day. A vein of surprise 
runs through their confessions, as though they felt such wealth 
of Divine mercy could not be intended for poor heathens like 
themselves. With hand on mouth, an a^ed man said : * When 
I think on the love of God in the gift of His Son, and of the 
sufferings of Christ for me, my thoughts stand still, and I am 
dumb.* Peter Links quaintly said : ' I have been like a poor 
silly lamb that turns first to one bush and then to another, and 
runs away from its mother. But the ewe will not forsake it, 
and does all she can to induce it to follow. So has the Lord 
cared for me.* Another convert expressed himself: * Before we 
received the Gospel, we were like a chicken in the ^gg ere it is 
hatched. We were surrounded with darkness and could see 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


nothing ; but the Gospel broke the shell, and now we see the 
light of day.* 

The Namaquas abandoned their deeds of evil. Formerly, 
when the moon was at the full, they had been accustomed to 
spend the night in Bacchanalian dancing, drunkenness, and 
debauchery. Now they made the moonlight nights vocal with 
song. The converts went from hut to hut, chanting some 
favourite hymn, as : 

• Faith loves the Saviour and beholds 

His sufferings, death, and pain ; 
And this shall ne'er be old or cold 
Till we with Him shall reign. ' 

As the singers passed on and called upon the head of each 
family to engage in prayer the night- fires brightened, and the 
hills were covered with silvery beauty by the full-orbed moon. 
In June, 181 7, the first two converts were baptized ; two were 
united in matrimony ; and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
was administered. Thus the churcjj grew and took form. 

Many of the converts became school teachers, local preachers, 
and class leaders, and proved to be faithful Christians. Not 
a few carried the Gospel to other tribes. Robert Links was 
a hero in his way. With gun in hand, and a water-vessel 
slung at his back, and depending for food on what he might 
shoot, he explored for weeks at a time the dreary Kalahari 
Desert, that he might preach to the wild Bushmen. His 
sufferings on these trips broke down his constitution, and he 
died early. Johannes Jager, in his eagerness to learn, carried 
his book into the lands that he might learn in spare moments. 
Jacob Links was simple, but intensely earnest. When an 
mquirer, he climbed to the roof of his hut, thinking that God 
would hear him better if he were higher up ; but his passion to 
do good led him far and wide, and he lived for a time with 
Bushmen, subsisting on their famine fare that he might teach 
them the way of salvation. Peter Links, his brother, was 
a remarkable man, and could work as thatcher, mason, 
carpenter, and blacksmith. He was an eloquent preacher in 
Namaqua. He went through all kinds of danger, and once, 
when hunting, was severely lacerated by a lion, which, leaping 
upon him dashed him to the ground, and crunched his arm 
between its teeth. His brother Robert shot it through the 
head, kilHng it immediately ; but it was months before Peter 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The physical aspect of Lilyfontein changed. Instead of the 
wild, unfenced veldt, were gardens and lands ; and in harvest- 
time were fields of wheat. The Namaquas acquired civilized 
manners. Men who had been accustomed to lay all hard work 
on their wives took their full share of labour. Instead of 
living on ant larvae, roots, and locusts, they had com and fruit. 
They appeared in the house of God decently clothed. The 
contrast between their present and former mode of life was so 
striking that one of the Namaquas said : ' I would rather that 
a bullet were shot through my head than the time should 
come that we should be without the Gospel of Christ* 
Another declared : ' Formerly I used to hunt dassies (rock 
rabbits) and other wild animals; but I have a better living 
now. When did we eat such bread before? When did we 
buy so many clothes of the merchant ? Who could hunt 
better than I? Yet I live better than I ever did.* Peace 
reigned where once wars were frequent. The Bushmen dared 
not attack the Namaquas now that they were dwelling 
together, and the Namaquas had no desire to harry their 
former enemies. Their cattle and sheep multiplied, and the 
general comfort of the people increased. Within fifteen years 
of the commencement of the mission, the inhabitants of Lily- 
fontein possessed 3,000 sheep, 3,000 goats, 150 horses, and 
400 head of cattle. 

When Lord Charles Somerset heard of the success of the 
settlement, he took steps to make it permanent. He granted 
the Namaquas a tract of country, containing about 200,000 
morgen, on which they were given rights of grazing and 
cultivation. He placed the district under the control of a raad 
or board, elected from amongst themselves on the first day in 
each year, and the Wesleyan missionary in residence was 
appointed chairman. This raad still meets once a month, and 
manages the commonage and the lands, grants grazing rights, 
and settles disputes. 

In 181 7 the Missionary Committee in London sent out the 
Rev. E. Edwards to assist Mr. Shaw. After landing at Cape 
Town, he rode all the way to Lilyfontein on horseback, a 
distance of 400 miles, rather than wait for a waggon. Mr. 
Shaw was now able to visit some of the adjacent tribes. More 
than once in his journeys he was lost in the desert, and nearly 
perished from hunger and thirst. The following year, the 
Rev. and Mrs. Archbell arrived, and a new station was formed 
at Reitfontein, a place about three days* travel north of Lily- 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


fontein, in Bushmanland, with the hope that access would be 
gained to those shy, diminutive people. In 1820 the Rev. S. 
Kay arrived; but within the year he removed to Salem, to 
assist the Rev. W. Shaw, then commencing his work among 
the British settlers. 

In the year 1826 Mr. Shaw was requested by the Missionary 
Committee to proceed to Cape Town, where his presence was 
considered necessary. His departure caused consternation 
among the Namaquas, who loved him lor his work's sake. At 
his last service, the church was crowded to the door with 
a congregation speechless with grief. Prayers and addresses 
were begun, only to be interrupted by the sobs and cries of the 
people. When Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and their children had 
mounted the waggon, and the oxen commenced to move, some 
of the Namaquas lay on the ground in an agony of grief; 
others clung to the rails of the waggon until their tired hands 
could cling no longer. A number followed as far as the first 
outspan and slept among the bushes. The following morning 
they stood weeping and waving their hands until a turn in the 
road hid the waggon from view. 

Lilyfontein was left in the spiritual care of the Rev. E. 
Edwards, with Jacob Links as assistant. In 1828 a new and 
larger church was built. In successsion, the Revs. R. Haddy, 
J. Jackson, J. A. Bailie, G. Parsonson, M. Godman, H. Tin- 
dall, and many others, had charge of the station, and rendered 
valuable service. 

In 1855 a still larger church was completed, capable of seat- 
ing 700 persons. It was of Gothic design, and cost over ;^i,ooo 
sterling, nearly all of which was given by the Namaquas. Of 
money they had little, and their gifts were chiefly in horses, 
sheep, oxen, and grain. The manual labour was done by the 
Namaquas, under the direction of Mr. J. A. Bailie, and the 
church is a monument of his skill and of their industry. The 
dedicatory service was conducted by the Rev. R. Ridgill. 

The years 1882-83 were calamitous to the Namaquas at Lily- 
fontein. An unusually prolonged and severe drought withered 
their crops, and made the ground hard and barren as ironstone. 
Gradually the stores of food, even the seed corn, were consumed, 
and the starving people had to subsist on roots and bits of skins. 
Many of the men left for O'okiep and elsewhere in search of work. 
Others roamed about with the cattle in order to find pasture. 
During the drought a violent wind took away the roof of the 
church at Norap,and left only bare walls and rafters. The people 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



were too poor to repair the damage, and church and school work 
were for a time suspended. When rain at last fell, there was 
no seed wheat left, and the people had no money to purchase 
any. The Rev. H. Tindall, then at Stellenbosch, did not for- 
get his former congregation, and, by the help of a few friends 
in Cape Town, he sent them seventy bags of wheat, for which 
they were to pay if they had a good harvest. 

But the black years left their mark on the religious and 
social life of the Namaquas. They were scattered, weakened 
physically, and dispirited. When the Rev. G. Robson arrived 


at Lilyfontein in 1887, the condition of the mission distressed 
him. The mission property was in a dilapidated condition, the 
church was almost deserted, the society classes had not met for 
months, the day-school was as good as closed, and the people, 
scattered all over the extensive commonage, were lapsing into 
their old heathen customs. By hard manual labour the build- 
ings were improved, but years elapsed before the disastrous 
results of drought and compulsory dispersion were overcome. 

Lilyfontein as a mission station is difficult to work. Every 
winter, about the month of May, the Namaquas remove down 
to the lower and warmer veldt, and they do not return until 
the end of the following harvest in January. From about 
January to May the missionary has a good congregation at 
Lilyfontein, but scarcely has he arranged the classes and re- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


organized the school, when the people again disband, and the 
work is arrested. A winter church and schoolroom were built 
in the Underveldt by Mr. Jackson, and for many years a num- 
ber of persons collected there during the winter months. Large 
dams were constructed, and when rains fell there was a good 
supply of water ; but in dry years it was not possible for the 
people to assemble there. The buildings were chiefly of wood, 
and ultimately they were destroyed by the white ants. When 
the Rev. M. Godman was at Lilyfontein he devised a plan for 
the establishment of a number of out- 
stations, under the care of native 
catechists, who were to be visited 
periodically by the resident missionary. 
But the plan proved impracticable . 
from the paucity of men fit to occupy 
such a position. 

During his pastorate, the Rev. G. 
Robson built a stone dwelling at 
Karkams, and there the minister lives 
in the midst of his people during the 
winter. At other places the Namaquas 
are away from church and school for 
months, pasturing their sheep and 
cattle on the mountains, or cultivating 
patches in the valleys. The educa- rev. m. godman. 

tion of the children is interrupted, and 

the Sabbath services are suspended. Upon reassembUng at 
Lilyfontein for the summer, much of the work of training and 
evangelizing has to be recommenced. Continuous progress is 
almost impossible. 

Centuries of wandering life, with the uncertainty of the 
climate, have moulded Namaqua habits. To live in a hut 
without furniture, to sit upon the ground doing nothing but 
talking and smoking, destitute of trade or literature— this is the 
normal condition of a Namaqua. The people enjoy Christian 
teaching, but it has too little influence on tribal characteristics. 
To preach the Gospel to them is not sufficient. The social 
condition of the Namaquas has to receive the careful attention 
of the Christian teacher. 

The effect of prolonged droughts cannot be overlooked. 
Sometimes no rain falls for eighteen or twenty months. No 
ploughing can be done. The veldt becomes dry, and brown, 
and barren, and cattle and sheep die. The people are reduced 

Digitized by LnO^DQlC 


to live on bulbs and boiled ox-hides. Hunger-belts are drawn 
tighter and tighter, and some actually perish of starvation. 
The families wander far seeking for grass and water for their 
live-stock. Every department of mission work suffers. When 
at last rain falls, and the Namaquas can return to Lilyfontein, 
much of the instruction of previous years has been lost. 

But a more dangerous foe than drought is strong drink. 
With the opening of the copper mines at O'okiep and Spring- 
bok came canteens, and a class of Europeans who demoralized 
the natives by the sale of Cape brandy. No alcoholic drink is 
allowed to be sold within the area of the mission settlement ; 
but, in addition to the temptations of the mines, the Namaqua 
Licensing Court has allowed a canteen to be opened just 
beyond the southern boundary at Garies. Here any native 
can procure drink. The Namaquas are a simple, impulsive 
people, and unable to resist the fascinations of spirituous 
liquors, and some of them have been known to lose their sheep, 
cattle, and goats to pay an unscrupulous canteen-keeper. If 
the Licensing Board of Namaqualand had desired to destroy 
the mission work of years, they could not more effectually have 
accomplished their purpose than by planting a canteen at 
Garies. If the Namaquas can be protected from one of the 
worst vices of the European, they will triumph over all the 
difficulties arising from drought and annual dispersion. Surely 
this protection is not beyond the power of Christian statesman- 
ship to provide. 

Lilyfontein suffered severely during the Anglo- Boer War. 
About 300 of the Namaquas were employed by the Government 
as scouts, and this excited the wrath of the Dutch commandoes. 
The station was left in the care of a few old men, most of 
whom were without arms. A body of Dutch burghers advanced 
on Lilyfontein, took possession of the station, seized the year's 
harvest, which had just been garnered, and burnt down about 
forty huts. The Namaquas attempted to oppose the spoliation, 
but they were armed only with kerries, and could offer but a 
feeble resistance. The Dutch retaliated by shooting down 
eight in front of the church, and twenty-two the following day 
among the hills, to which they had fled. The church was 
battered, the mission house was looted, and books and furniture 
were destroyed. The people were scattered over an area ex- 
tending from Garies to Port Nolloth. When, at the close of 
the war, the Namaquas were able to return to Lilyfontein, 
they found that their huts, their grain, their cattle, and their LnOOQlC 


sheep had all been swept away. They owned simply the 
clothes in which they stood. The Rev. J. G. Locke could find 
no shelter but a cowshed, and no sleeping- place but a little 
room used for the storage of straw. For months the problem 
was how to feed and clothe the people. But the Namaquas 
did not murmur, and believed that the hand of God was in it 
all. They reverently collected the bones of their slain com- 
rades from the veldt, and laid them to rest in the burial ground 
on the quiet mountain top. Their sufferings seemed to 
strengthen and purify their spiritual life, and the latest phase 
of their history is a revival, in which 135 persons sought the 
Lord, and have been * added to the church.' 




LILYFONTEIN was * a city set on a hill,' from which 
news of the Word of God went forth to the desert 
tribes beyond. Beneath the skin kaross often beats 
a heart painfully conscious of evil, and soon busy feet 
were hastening to the Kamiesberg, urged by the hope of 
sharing this new life in Christ. 

At the first love-feast, held in Lilyfontein, an old man rose 
and said : * My children have for some time heard the Gospel, 
and they told me enough to make me hungry. I left the 
Karee Mountains, and prayed as I came along that God would 
direct me. I have walked 200 miles to hear the Word of God, 
and yesterday I heard it for the first time. It was very sweet 
to me, and made me both sore and warm.' 

Two girls, who had become Christians, went on a visit to 
a clan about sixty miles distant. They sang the hymns learnt 
at the church, and prayed for their friends. So delighted were 
these desert wanderers that they sent at once to Mr. Shaw, 
begging him to come. * We never heard a sermon in our 
lives, and we are longing for the Gospel.' In a few weeks, 
Mr. Shaw visited this people, and held several services in the 
open air. They listened with painful eagerness to the message 
of salvation ; and on his departure, unwilling that he should 
leave, they accompanied him several miles. 

A Namaqua walked sixty miles to hear the Word. He had 
been alarmed by a dream, which doubtless was shaped by 
reports of sermons brought to him by those who had heard 
Mr. Shaw. * I was,' he said, * one evening lying in my house, 
but had not closed my eyes in sleep ; nor could I, when supper 
was ready, either eat or drink. After having lain some time, 
there were two ships presented to me which appeared to be 
sailing on the great waters. Some one informed me that the 
one ship was filled with believers, who were holy people, and 

52 Digitized by LnOOgle 


on their passage to heaven ; and that the other was full of 
impenitent sinners on their passage to hell. A person then 
asked me : " In which of those ships will you go ?" But before 
I could give an answer, the ship loaded with sinners began to 
sink, gradually descending out of sight imtil I saw her no 
more. Who he was that appeared to speak to me I know 
not ; but I was sore afraid, and determined as speedily as 
possible to procure a missionary, that we might be taught how 
we could be saved.' Mr. Shaw responded to his appeal, rode 
sixty miles to preach to the clan to which the man belonged, 
and had an affectionate welcome. 

Another aged Namaqua walked to Lilyfontein from north of 
the Orange River. He said : * I have come hundreds of miles 
to see what the Lord has done. The people around Bethany 
are anxious to have a missionary.' After the arrival of the 
Rev. E. Edwards, Mr. Shaw was able to explore the country 
to the north. His old friend Mr. Schmelen wrote : * As brother 
Edwards is now with yo\i, I beseech you and sister Shaw to 
pay us a visit. As soon as I hear of your coming, I will send 
my oxen to meet you. I should like much to speak with you 
respecting what can be done here for the furthering of the 
kingdom of Christ.' 

When the people of Lilyfontein saw the preparations for the 
journey, fearing Mr. Shaw would not return, they deputed an 
old man to speak on their behalf. * Mynheer, you have planted 
a tree here, a beautiful tree ; you have watered that tree, you 
have taken pains with it, and it is growing and bears fruit. 
If you go and leave us, this beautiful tree will droop. If it be 
not watched and watered, it will die away. How can you go 
and leave it ?' Mr. Shaw promised to return to the station, 
and the people were reconciled. 

On March 25, 1820, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, accompanied by 
Mr. Kay and a little party of Namaquas, commenced their 
journey. Rain had not fallen for months, and the country was 
dry and barren in the extreme. Shrivelled stems of bushes, 
black as though burned by fire ; sickly-looking heaths and 
long stretches of bare sand were all that met the eye. The 
thermometer registered 110° in the shade. At the halting- 
places the little water in the wells was black and bitter, and 
was often too nauseous for use. One day the guide lost his 
way, and after a rough journey over stones and rocks, the 
travellers found themselves at sunset on the spot from which 
they had started in the morning. It was a relief to reach the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Orange River, and there they rested several days, enjoying the 
sweet water and the shade of the trees. They crossed the river 
on a raft, made by Bushmen, of poles fastened together with 
the bark of the mimosa tree ; and then they resumed their 
journey over pathless mountains infested by lions. At length 
they arrived at Bethany, where they received a hearty welcome 
from Mr. and Mrs. Schmelen. They had been travelling 
forty-six days, and had not seen a hut or a face except at the 
Orange River. 

Leaving Mrs. Shaw at Bethany, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Schmelen 
proceeded to visit the Namaqua clans farther north. The 
district was rugged and roadless, and as there were no horses 
in the district, they rode on oxen, and were attended by twelve 
Namaquas similarly mounted, some of whom acted as guides 
and others as marksmen to obtain food. One day, the hunters 
brought into camp the hind-quarters of an antelope which had 
been killed by a lion. At a native village a chief gave them 
an ox, for which he begged in return the gift of a shirt. * Our 
cook roasted for us,' humorously wrote Mr. Shaw, * t)art of one 
of the sides of the ox. For plates we sought for ourselves flat 
stones ; for gravy we had the marrow of the large bones ; for 
bread we had slices of liver ; and for pepper and salt, the ashes 
which adhered to the meat.' Occasionally, even Mr. Shaw's 
buoyant spirits were oppressed by the discomforts of the 
journey. * Scorched by a vertical sun, torn by large thorn- 
trees, jolted by unruly oxen, parched by a burning wind; 
pestered by swarms of flies, faint for want of food, and 
tormented by thirst, we became wearied and depressed. Our 
voices sounded harsh, and the cattle were lamed by the sharp- 
ness of the rocks. The sight of water and the cool night's rest 
seemed to be paradise.' 

They reached, after a week's travel, the kraal of Gammap, 
the great chief of the district. At the sound of a bullock's 
horn the people collected, and a service was held. Christ was 
preached where He had never been named before. The service 
was continued long after sunset. To the inquiry if they 
wanted a missionary, Gammap replied: *It appears that we 
have gone wrong since the time of Adam. We wait every day 
for the great Word. I, as the chief, shall say yes.' Tsaumap 
said : * I am hasty to have a teacher, for my soul is smothering 
in sin.' It was the cry of the dying for life. Upon being told 
that Mr. Shaw would have to return and consult his wife, 
Gammap exclaimed from his experience as a much-married 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


man : ' Then you will be a long time (joming, for a woman is 
a werf (village) and cannot easily be moved.' 

The humorous side of barbarism peeped out. Mr. Shaw 
had given Gammap a hat of which he was very proud. Next 
day he approached Mr. Shaw with a demure look, and said : 
* The hat sits upon my head like a crow on a bush, and calls 
for a shirt and other things belonging to it. My old greasy 
kaross and the hat do not agree.' The plea was too ingenious 
to be resisted, and the shirt and other things were given. 

As the result of this visit, the Rev. J. Archbell was appointed 
to Warm Bath, with Jacob Links as assistant ; but when they 
set out for the place they found war had broken out between 
the Namaquas and the Bushmen, and they had to return. 
Before peace was restored, Mr. Archbell was sent to Bechuana- 
land, and the mission was postponed. 

Warm Bath and Blydeverwachting, the headquarters of the 
Bondleswarts and Africaner tribes, had at one time been occu- 
pied by agents of the London Missionary Society. The Revs. 
Abraham and Christian Albrecht, two noble missionaries, and 
Robert Moffatt, honoured in later years by all the Churches, 
had laboured there, but the tribes being often at war they had 
left for more favourable fields. Christian Albrecht returned to 
the colony, MofFatt went to Kuruman, and Abraham Albrecht 
died on his way to Cape Town. 

In the year 1825 Jacob Links and Johannes Jager resolved 
to make another attempt to commence the mission at Warm 
Bath. A young missionary of great promise was staying at 
Lilyfontein, the Rev. W. Threlfall, and he offered to accom- 
pany them. The previous year Mr. Threlfall had endeavoured 
to establish a mission at Delagoa Bay, but the Gaza Zulus 
looked upon him with suspicion. They denied him any aid, 
and he had to live in a hut, cooking his own food and washing 
his own clothes. He was struck down by fever, and after 
weeks of lonely suffering was discovered by the captain of an 
English whale-ship, who carried him on board his vessel in 
apparently a dying condition, and took him round to Cape 
Town. The Rev. J. Whitworth boarded the ship in Table 
Bay, and nursed the sick man back to life. By slow stages he 
was sent to Lilyfontein to rest and recruit in its clear, exhila- 
rating air. With recovered health he longed to resume work, 
and gladly embraced the opportunity to accompany Links and 
Jager on their perilous journey. 

Mr. Threlfall and his two companions left Lilyfontein in 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



June. They rode on oxen, and had a spare . animal for the 
conveyance of their scanty baggage. They travelled without 
molestation until they had got several days' journey beyond 
the Orange River. At Warm Bath they engaged a Bushman 
guide, and his cupidity was excited by the sight of the oxen 
and the few goods they possessed as barter for food. He 
treacherously plotted with two other Bushmen to murder the 
three travellers. At night, after the evening meal, Mr. Threl- 
fall sang a hymn and prayed, and then he and his companions, 
covering themselves with karosses, lay down, unsuspicious of 
danger, to sleep on the sand. About midnight the Bushmen 
drew near with stealthy tread. A dusky form stooped over 
each sleeper. There was the swift stroke of weapons, and in a 
moment Jacob Links and Johannes 
Jager were killed. The blow at Mr. 
Threlfall failed, but he Was awakened 
by the noise, and as they pulled the 
kaross from him he saw that their 
purpose was to kill him. He was 
totally unarmed, and seeing escape 
hopeless he knelt down by the baggage 
and prayed. The guide struck him 
violently on the forehead with a large 
stone ; he fell, and in a few moments, 
under repeated blows, life was extinct. 
In that lonely land, and by the way 
the martyrs trod, these three devoted 
men went home to God. The bodies 
were stripped and left to be devoured 
by the vultures and wolves, and the 
oxen and goods were carried off to their village. Several 
months elapsed before their death was known at Lilyfontein, 
when Mr. Schmelen arrived, and brought the sad news, which 
he had heard in travelling through the country. On account of 
this tragic event the attempt to establish a mission among the 
Bondleswarts was a second time abandoned. 

Eight years passed away. A missionary meeting was held 
at Simonstown, at which Mr. James Nisbett, of the Madras 
Civil Service, was chairman. The narration of these attempts 
in Great Namaqualand, consecrated by martyr-blood, produced 
in Mr. Nisbett a profound emotion. He rose, and said, * Cannot 
something be done for this miserable country ? If you 
will send a missionary to these people I will give ^^300. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




If that is not sufficient, I will dispose of my carriage and 
horses. I would rather trudge on foot than that Great 
Namaqualand should remain without the Gospel.' 

The enthusiasm was contagious. The Rev. E. Cook, re- 
cently arrived from England, offered to enter this distant and 
dangerous field of labour. He was a man of fervent piety, of 
undaunted courage, and enjoyed robust health. He explored 
the country to the north of the Orange River; and in 1834 he 
decided to attach himself to the Bondleswarts clan, the most 
powerful of the Namaqua tribes. They numbered about 3,000, 
and were scattered over a wide district. They possessed a few 
cattle and goats, but had neither bread nor vegetables. They 
were often at war with their neighbours. Mr. Cook selected 
Warm Bath (henceforth to be known 
as Nisbett Bath) for his central station, 
as it possessed a strong fountain of 
water and abundance of wood. 

Mr. Cook's task was a formidable 
one. The people were inveterate 
thieves. They stole the meat out of 
the cooking- pot, the goats out of the 
kraal, and even the seed-corn stored in 
the granary for their use. They stole 
at night the produce out of the garden. 
The chief became restless and revenge- 
ful when he found that the presence 
of the missionary was a restraint on 
his vicious habits, and at one time 
Mr. Cook's life was in serious danger. 
He began to think it was prudent to 

escape before more expense was incurred, but, as he said, 
* immortal souls were involved, and he dared not hastily decide.' 
The manual labour involved in commencing the mission was 
such as few men could have undertaken. He had to fell trees, 
saw them into planks, and build a smithy and a carpenter's 
shop. He had to be his own mason and carpenter, and his 
limbs often ached with hard labour. After a day's severe toil 
under a hot sun he had to sleep on the ground, wrapped in a 
sheepskin. * I have a hard life of it,' he wrote, * but am, never- 
theless, so happy that I would not exchange my lot for any 
situation in the world ' Every evering of the week a religious 
service was held, or the children were taught the simple ele- 
ments of Qduca,tion. Peter Links was of great assistance as 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



interpreter and mechanic, and relieved Mr. Cook of some of 
the heavier work in masonry and carpentry. 

Slowly the power of evil over the Bondleswarts lessened. 
The attendance at the services increased. Many of the people 
were deeply convinced of sin. Their hearts were bitter with 
sorrow, and often they resorted to the adjacent forest to pray 
alone. The joy of salvation was realized, and the early morning 
prayer-meeting was crowded. A large church capable of 
seating 500 persons, and a manse, were erected. The work 
rapidly extended. Classes for the converts were formed. Mr. 
Cook lived to see 400 Namaquas meeting in church-fellowship 
at Nisbett Bath, and at the out-stations, and more than 1,000 
children attending the various schools. 

One of the strongest proofs that converts can give of the 
genuineness of their conversion is a readiness to assist in sending 
the Gospel to others. At a missionary meeting held during 
Mr. Cook's residence, the collection, rather a novel one to take 
up, consisted of 3 cows, 10 oxen, 3 heifers, 4 calves, 147 sheep, 

59 goats, and i bull. The whole was valued at the time at 
about ;^7o. Such gifts witness to the effect the Gospel has on 
a people who in their heathen state are intensely selfish and 
covetous. In the year 1846 the collection sold for ;^i4o. 

In 1836 the Rev. J. Jackson arrived from England, and then 
Mr. Cook often rode seventy or a hundred miles to preach the 
Gospel to the neighbouring tribes. He once journeyed 800 
miles in order to become acquainted with the inhabitants of 
Walwich Bay. He repeatedly visited David Africaner, one of 
the brothers of the notorious Titus Africaner, the Hottentot 
Rob Roy, who for many years kept the country in a state of 
terror by his murderous raids, but who, under the ministrations 
of the Rev. R. MofFatt, became a sincere Christian. David, 
in his heathen state, felt the Spirit of God striving with him. 
* I felt that I was a sinner, but that God had a great love for 
sinners ; and I longed to hear the Word. Afterwards, I felt I 
was delivered from my sins.' He was baptised by the Rev. M. 
Ebner, of the London Missionary Society, who soon after- 
wards removed, and David was left to struggle by himself with 
his plundering neighbours without any human guide. For 
thirty years he and a few others kept the life of God in their 
hearts until Mr. Cook arrived. He at once communicated 
with Mr. Cook, and Blydeverwachting, afterwards known as 
Hoole's Fountain, was taken up as an out-station. David 
joined the Wesleyan Church, and became interpreter and lay 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


preacher. He had a wide acquaintance with the folk-lore of 
the Namaquas, which he took great delight in narrating. When 
Mr. Ridsdale was the resident missionary at Nisbett Bath, 
David told him the following story, which is quaintly simple, 
and not unlike some of the legends of Northern Europe : 

* On a certain occasion the moon sent a hare with a message 
to mankind to say that as she died and lived again, so after 
death man would live again. But the hare told men that after 
death they would live no more. On returning to the moon, 
the moon said, " Well, what sort of a message have you taken 
to mankind ?*' " Tve told them,'* said the hare, ** that after 
death they .will live no more." Then the moon fell into a great 
passion, and said : " Why have you told such a lying message ?" 
Snatching up a hatchet that was at hand, the moon fetched 
the hare such a blow on the upper lip as cleft it in two ; and 
that's the reason why the hare has a cloven lip. The hare 
flew at the moon and scratched its face violently, so that's the 
reason why you see all those dark marks on the face of the full 
moon.' The Namaquas concluded that because the hare 
brought a wrong message their doom was sealed, and that 
when they died they died like a dog, and there was an end of 
them. * After death,' they said, * we shall live no more.' * For 
this reason,' said David, * we regard the hare as an accursed 
animal, and we never eat its flesh.* This was probably the 
survival of an old nature-myth, setting forth the unceasing 
conflict between life and death. 

But the Gospel had come to this people, and brought the 
light and hope of immortality. The sad traditions of the past 
were forgotten, and with them vanished much of the gloom 
and fierceness of their heathen days. The whole country put 
on a new aspect. Wars were rare, very rare. Once, if they 
were thirsty, they shunned the fountain by day, lest an enemy 
might be concealed close by ; and only when night came on 
did they creep down and lie on their faces and silently drink. 
Now they had no fear of ambush or secret foe. Once, when 
a dog barked at night, they rose and fled for life, expecting an 
immediate attack from raiders. Now, if a dog barked, they 
drowsily murmured, * It is the missionary going home,' and 
turning over, they slept in peace. Thefts were uncommon. 
The sheep and goats increased as they had never done before, 
for they had safe pasture. Schools for the education of the 
children were opened. Roads were made ; decent apparel was 
worn ; marriage was performed with Christian rites. Families 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



belonging to distant tribes travelled hundreds of miles and 
stayed at the station for weeks in order to hear the life-giving 
Word. Compared with what it formerly was, the country 
was an Eden. 

For nine years Mr. Cook continued his labours, and then 
the strong man was laid low. He was only thirty-six years of 
age. But severe manual labour amid intense heat, long 
fatiguing journeys under a tropical sun, with little food and 
water, broke down even his vigorous frame. * For three days 
and three nights,' he once wrote, * I have not had more than 
four hours' sleep. I have had to drive my own waggon, my 
driver having left me.* The building of chapels, the preaching 
on Sabbaths and week-nights, the meeting of classes each 
quarter, the direction of agricultural 
work, added to repeated fevers, unre- 
lieved by any furlough for change 
and rest, left him worn-out and utterly 
enfeebled. He set out for Cape Town 
for medical advice, and his cherished 
friend, I he Rev. Joseph Tindall, ac- 
companied him, intending to assist 
him across the Orange River. The 
end came rapidly. Mr. Tindall 
climbed into the waggon, took his 
friend's head on his arm with tender 
care, and said : * Brother Cook, is 
Christ precious to you ?' For a 
moment, the closed eyes slowly 
opened, and the lips feebly mur- 
mured : * Tindall, I have a good hope 
through Christ.' And then the toil-worn but brave Christian 
missionary passed to his eternal rest. The body was taken 
back and buried at Nisbett Bath, among the people he loved 
so well. 

The work thus begun was carried on by a number of noble 
missionaries. The Revs. J. Tindall, B. Ridsdale, R. Ridgill, 
J. A. Bailie, R. Haddy, J. Thomas, H. Tindall, and J. Priestly, 
make an honourable succession. The Rev. H. Tindall was 
the first missionary appointed to Hoole's Fountain, where 
David Africaner lived. In the absence of a house, he slept in 
an unfurnished room at the end of the church. The first night 
he was bitten by a snake, and for some time was in serious 
danger. He ultimately recovered, and spent several years on 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



the station. He wrote the first grammar of the Namaqua 
language, in which he was a fluent speaker, and also translated 
two of the Gospels into that tongue. 

Additional stations were opened by the Revs. R. Haddy and 
J. Tindall, to the far north, 600 miles beyond Nisbett Bath, 
with Yonker Africaner, David's nephew, with Ameral, a 
Namaqua chief, and at Concordia ville, Elephant's Fountain, 
and Wesleyville. An English lady gave ^^700 towards the 
establishment of these stations, and their early history was one 
of success. Subsequently discouragements arose. The people 
were unsettled, and, as at Lilyfontein, if a drought came, they 
roamed over the country seeking pasture for their live stock. 
Every year they went on great hunting expeditions to supply 
themselves with meat for the winter. Then Yonker Africaner, 
who for some years had been a professing Christian and a 
preserver of the peace, fell away, and walked no longer in the 
steps of his uncle David. He gave way to intemperance and 
became a restless and rapacious chief, always ready for a raid 
on a neighbour, a cattle lifter, and a source of great disquiet 
to the district. • 

Too few missionaries were sent. The number was not large 
enough for so wide a field, and no reinforcements could be sent 
from England, as the mission funds were not equal to the 
demands made upon them. The early promise of the Damara 
Mission faded away. At a later date the missionaries were 
withdrawn, and the stations were left to the care of Namaqua 
evangeHsts. Meanwhile, the Rhenish missionaries had occupied 
the country in force, and had established themselves at various 
places in Damaraland and Great Namaqualand. To secure 
economy of labour, the London Missionary Society had handed 
over all their stations in those parts to the Rhenish missionaries, 
and it was decided by the Wesleyan Missionary Committee 
in London that their stations also should be placed under the 
same care. The people at Nisbett Bath remonstrated : * We 
are your spiritual children ; you must not cast us off.* But 
the official mind was haunted by the spectre of debt, and the 
Damaras could not appeal to British sympathies as did the 
Fijians and the Hindus. With deep regret, the sacrifice had 
to be made ; and it was a relief that the Rhenish missionaries 
were at hand to take the stations into their charge. They 
were the representatives of the noble Protestant churches of 
Cologne, Elberfeld, and Barmen, in the Valley of the Rhine. 
They belonged to the church of the saintly Krummacher, and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Professor Christlieb ; to the church of the Deaconesses' 
Institute at Kaisersworth. They had given themselves with 
great devotion to the work of evangelizing the native races of 
Great Namaqualand, and it was believed that in their hands 
the work begun by the Wesleyans would be faithfully carried 
on. Accordingly, in the year 1867, the missions at Nisbett 
Bath and Hoole*s Fountain were transferred to the Rhenish 
Missionary Society, and these names disappeared from the 
Minutes of the Wesleyan Church. Wesleyville and Con- 
cordiaville had been handed over to the same society sixteen 
years before. 

These missions form both bright and mournful pages in the 
annals of the Wesleyan Church. Bright when the arduous 
and self-denying labours of the devoted men who toiled there 
are considered. Here Threlfall fell. Here Joseph Tindall 
spent fifteen consecutive years, enduring great privations and 
braving many dangers. Here Henry Tindall, his son, spent 
the early years of his ministry, always cheerful and inspiring. 
Here Richard Haddy laboured amongst Yonker Africaner's 
tribe, and in every time and place kept up the habits of a close 
and ardent student. Here Edward Cook heroically laboured 
and died. Here Benjamin Ridsdale and J. A. Bailie worked 
with success, and were greatly beloved. . 

Mournful — for it is impossible to resist a passing touch of 
sadness — that a field upon which so much life, strength, and 
money had been expended should be lost to Methodism. 
Happily, the stations were taken over by a Society, whose 
missionaries have kept up the best traditions of missionary 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


AT the commencement of the nineteenth century the 
population of Cape Town was remarkable for its racial 
variety. A stranger, wandering along its thoroughfares, 
would meet in a short walk Dutch and English, sprung 
from one famous Teutonic stock ; Malays, tawny and Oriental- 
looking, arrayed in bright, flowing robes and conical hats made 
of split reed ; Mozambiques, black as ebony ; Guinea Coast 
negroes, with broad noses and thick lips ; and sallow Hottentots 
of stunted growth, with high cheek-bones and yellowish-brown 
skin. Many of the coloured people were slaves, and spoke a 
Dutch patois. Numbers of the Hottentots, though not slaves, 
were treated as such by the Dutch, who tenaciously clung to 
the belief that social inferiority was the Divinely appointed lot 
of the aboriginal races. 

The work of the Methodist Church at the Cape therefore 
assumed from the first a bilingual character. Services in 
English were held for the soldiers and the few British residents, 
and in Dutch for the coloured population. This involved a 
double set of services, and compelled the minister to speak 
both languages or employ an interpreter. Often it necessitated 
separate churches. This cleavage in race and language made 
the work complex, and, as the English population received less 
attention than the coloured people, the Methodist Church at 
the Cape was slow in its development. 

Sergeant Kendrick, who had introduced Methodism into 
Cape Town, died in the year 1813, exhorting his comrades to 
accept the Gospel. He was buried by loving hands in the 
military cemetery at Green Point. No monument marks the 
spot where the body of the noble Methodist soldier lies, but his 
real monument was his Christian work amongst the garrison, 
which was continued after his death with unabated interest. 
Without pastor or church, the Methodist soldiers regularly 

^^ Digitized by LnOOgle 


met for fellowship and prayer, cheered at long intervals by a 
visit from the missionary from Lilyfontein, when he came to 
Cape Town for the purchase of supplies. 

In the year 1820 the Rev. E. Edwards removed from the 
Kamiesberg to Cape Town, in order to take the pastoral care 
of the soldiers, and to erect a Wesleyan church in the metro- 
polis. His ruddy countenance, glowing with health and happi- 
ness, his sonorous voice easily heard by a large crowd, his 
fervent appeals when speaking of God's mercy to sinners, won 
for his message as well as for himself a ready acceptance. 
His first service was held in a hayloft in Plein Street, and to 
reach it the congregation had to pass the heels of the horses 
in the stable beneath, and ascend an awkward and dangerous 
ladder. The marvel was that anyone went. 

In a few months the hayloft was left for an unoccupied wine- 
store in Barrack Street. In this more spacious room services 
were held in English every Sabbath morning and evening for 
the soldiers and civilians, and in the afternoon a school was 
conducted in the Dutch language for the benefit of the slaves. 
Most of the prosperous residents in Cape Town possessed 
slaves resident on their properties, but little was done by their 
owners for their instruction. Ryk Tulbagh, an excellent 
Dutch Governor, had, only fifty years before, issued an edict 
directing that any slave found at the entrance of a church 
when the congregation was leaving was to be severely flogged. 
These unfortunate beings were accustomed to assemble on the 
Lord's Day at the foot of Table Mountain and spend hours in 
drinking and dancing. * Some of them had their heads orna- 
mented with feathers and pieces of the skins of wild beasts. 
Their legs were bound round with bamboo-leaves, in which 
were enclosed small stones to make a rattling noise ; and their 
dances were accompanied by the clanging of the tom-tom, the 
clapping of hands, and the shouts of the spectators.' To these 
motley crowds Mr. Edwards frequently preached, and succeeded 
in persuading many of the slaves to attend the Sabbath school. 

Within twelve months the wine-store was crowded to excess, 
and a larger building was necessary. The Rev. S. Broadbent 
had arrived from England, on his way to Bechuanaland ; the 
Rev. B. Shaw was on a visit from Namaqualand. Together 
they canvassed Cape Town for subscriptions. The appeal was 
made difficult by the circumstance that Methodism was little 
known to the majority of the people. On one occasion they 
knocked aX the door of a house, and made known the object of 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



their call, when the slave- servant said, with comical naivete : 
* Please, gentlemen, my mistress says she is asleep !' Mr. Shaw 
laughingly replied : * If your mistress can talk when she is 
asleep, she can doubtless read when she awakes.' The girl 
returned with a donation of five rix-doUars, or 7s. 6d. 

The new church was built in Barrack Street, not far from 
the wine-store, and cost ;^6oo. It was a plain and unpreten- 
tious structure, and was hidden behind a dwelling used as a 
mission house. The dwelling was of the usual Dutch type, 


The chapel was built behind the house, and access was gained to it 
by the passage on the right. 

with moulded gable front, windows with numerous small panes 
of glass, and a stone-flagged stoep. Behind the house was the 
church, to which access was gained by a door and a passage 
at the side. This obscure place of worship was opened in 
1822 by the Rev. Dr. Philip, of the London Missionary Society, 
and was consecrated by the labours of several devoted men 
— Barnabas Shaw, whose sermons were always clear and richly 
illustrated ; Edward Edwards, always faithful and fervent ; 
Tames Archbell, whose subsequent labours among the Bara- 
longs were carried on with much ability and usefulness ; William 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


J. Shrewsbury, a profound theologian and a powerful preacher ; 
and William Threlfall, the martyr of Namaqualand. The 
voices of these godly men, rich in persuasive eloquence, were 
often heard within the little Wesleyan Church in Barrack 
Street. They all sleep in Jesus now ; but if in later years the 
field has yielded an abundant harvest, the names of these early 
labourers should not be forgotten. 

The present generation knows nothing of that humble 
church, and the lowly manse in front of it. After seven years 
of occupation they were abandoned for larger buildings. The 
manse became tenanted by Mohammedan families. Malay 
children played where Barnabas Shaw had studied and prayed, 
and they droned passages from the Koran where Wesley's 
hymns had been sung. At a later date the premises were 
taken over by the London Missionary Society, whose agents 
established a mission school there ; and, later still, they were 
pulled down to make room for an iron foundry. 

At the English services in the new church many of the 
troops attended, and some of the men held meetings for prayer 
on the quiet slopes of Table Mountain. For their benefit a 
library was provided within the church, and the soldiers, sitting 
in a pew or on a form, took delight in reading such books as 
Wesley's * Journal,' Boston's 'Fourfold State,' Baxter's * Saints' 
Rest,' and Bunyan's * Holy War.' If the literature lacked the 
spicy and illustrated features of modern books, it had the un- 
doubted merit of directly informing and strengthening the 
spiritual life. 

During the erection of the church the Rev. T. L. Hodgson 
arrived from England, having been appointed to Cape Town ; 
but, at his own request, he was sent to assist Mr. Broadbent, 
in Bechuanaland, and proceeded thither, vi^ Algoa Bay and 
GraafF Reinet. 

In 1826 the Rev. Barnabas Shaw removed from Lilyfontein 
to Cape Town, where he resided, with few intervals, for thirty 
years. He still considered himself pledged to Mission work, 
and devoted most of his efforts to the coloured people. Valu- 
able work was done, but it is to be regretted that the European 
population was comparatively neglected. It is only within 
recent years that Methodism has endeavoured to take its proper 
position amongst the English-speaking inhabitants of the 
metropolis. In the same year, 1826, the Rev. R. Snowdall 
arrived from London, to be Mr. Shaw's assistant, and services 
were commenced at Wynberg and Simonstown. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


The year 1829 was marked by the commencemeDt of three 
Wesleyan churches. 

One church was at Wynberg. The building was small, but 
conveniently situated. The Rev. B. Shaw conducted the 
opening services, and he alluded to the fate of the first Wes- 
leyan chapel erected in the village by the soldiers, and which 
was burnt down by order of the Colonel. Military opposition 
had ceased, and the officers now encouraged Methodist soldiers, 
who generally bore an excellent character. 

Another church was erected at Simonstown, chiefly through 
the efforts of Mr. Snowdall. The site was given by the Acting- 
Governor, Major-General Bourke, on the slope of a hill, and 
the spire of the church built thereon proved useful as a land- 
mark to ships entering the harbour, which, sheltered as it was 
from the violent, north-west winds, had been selected as the 
naval station for the British fleet at the Cape. This church 
has the unique honour of having been consecrated by an 
Anglican Bishop. As the Episcopalians had for many years 
no church in Simonstown, the Wesleyans granted them the 
use of their church. The Anglicans felt that their worship 
would be more acceptable to God, and more profitable to them- 
selves, if the building were consecrated. The Wesleyans did 
not object, and accordingly it was consecrated by a certain 
Bishop of Calcutta, who called at the Cape on his voyage to 
India. Two years after the church was built Mr. Snowdall 
was appointed to Bechuanaland, but when travelling thither 
was taken ill at Grahamstown, and died. He was a man of 
deep piety, and of great prudence. 

Sailors from almost every country under the sun found their 
way to the little Wesleyan Church at Simonstown, and were 
drawn by loving hearts into Christian fellowship. When Mr. 
Shaw, on one of his visits, met the Society Class, seven persons 
were present. One was a Swede, a second was an English 
sailor, a third was a native of Inhambane on the east coast, a 
fourth was from Mozambique, the fifth was Dutch, the sixth 
was from India, and the seventh was a Hottentot. To preach 
the Gospel at Simonstown was like sowing on the edge of the 
Agulhas current. The seed might be carried half round the 
world, and persons who lived as far apart as Stockholm and 
Calcutta might trace their conversion to services held in the 
Methodist Church at Simonstown. 

But the most important erection of the three was the church 
in Blirg Street, Cape Town, with the mission house adjoining. 

Digitized y?G?)Ogle 



Mr. Shaw had spent nearly two years in England, delivering 
from the platform deeply interesting narratives of his mission- 
ary life. He was not allowed to make a public appeal for 
help, but wherever he went he took an album, which he styled 
his * Gleaner,' and in which were recorded the sums of money 
given unsolicited towards the erection of a new church in Cape 
Town. In this manner he collected ;^7oo. Upon his return 
he purchased a site in Burg Street, on which were the ruins of 


a Mohammedan mosque. The foundation stone of the church 
was laid by Sir John Truter, Chief Justice of the Colony, with 
Masonic honours, and the building was completed in February, 
1 83 1. Mr. Shaw was anxious that the opening services should 
be conducted by the famous theologian and preacher, the Rev. 
Richard Watson, one of the missionary secretaries in London, 
but the committee thought that the work in England needed 
his presence. The first sermon was therefore preached by the 
Rev. Stephen Kay, who was on his way from Kaffraria to 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


England. He was a man of imposing presence, and a stately 
preacher. Mr. Shaw preached in Dutch in the evening. It 
was a red-letter day in his calendar, and he joyfully contrasted 
this church with the forage-loft, and the opening day with the 
time when the Governor of the colony would not allow him to 
preach in a private house. The front of the church was plain 
and bold in design, but it was hemmed in by the mission house 
on one side and by business premises on the other. 

For forty-eight years this was the principal Wesleyan Church 
at the Cape. To attempt to chronicle the events of those years 
is impossible. The many noble men who *bore the burden 
and heat of the day ' were men of action, and rarely took up 
the pen to describe what they had done. They have left few 
records of their labours. But in gratitude the names of some 
should be recalled. As years passed a succession of ministers, 
eminent for piety and zeal, occupied the pulpit in the Burg 
Street Church. Thomas Laidman Hodgson, graceful, gentle, 
but manly and firm ; James Goodrick, whose fiery zeal shortened 
his days, and he died young ; James S meet h, a popular preacher, 
and greatly beloved ; William Moister, a sagacious adminis- 
trator and historian ; Benjamin Ridsdale, whose enthusiasm 
shone like a star through many a dark night of discourage- 
ment ; Joseph Tindall, whose labours in Namaqualand 
bordered on the heroic ; Matthew Godman, of quiet power ; 
John Thomas, a sun of thunder ; James Cameron, with whom 
preaching was a passion ; Richard Haddy, a self-taught scholar 
in Latin and Greek, and the founder of ihe Mission station at 
Clarkebury ; William Barber, whose conversation was spicy 
as the breezes of Ceylon, where he laboured for years ; John 
Priestly, who often subdued a whole congregation to tears ; 
Henry Tindall, whose genial spirit won him troops of friends ; 
John A. Bailie, a name still fragrant in Namaqualand ; Samuel 
Hardey, in whom gentleness, sweetness, and dignity were 
beautifully combined ; and last, but not least, Richard Ridgill, 
poet and philosopher. All, except one, have crossed the river, 
and reached the Canaan that they loved. 

* Why do we make our moan 
For losses which enrich us yet 
With upward yearning of regret ? 
Bleaker than unmossed stone 
Our lives were, but for the immortal gain 
Of unstilled longing and inspiring pain 
For nobler natures gonq,' 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


The labours of the Wesleyan ministers of Cape Town were 
not limited to Burg Street Church. Services were held in the 
prison, in private houses in some of the most degraded parts of 
Cape Town, at Robben Island, Rondebosch, Somerset West, 
Stellenbosch, and Hottentot's Holland, in addition to Wyn- 
berg, Diep River, and Caledon. Each year in the Synod the 
question is asked : * Have our preachers sufficient work ?* In 
Mr. Shaw's case there could be no doubt of the answer, as a 
typical Sabbath will show. In the morning he preached at 
Simonstown in Dutch, commencing service at half-past nine 
o'clock. Then he rode three miles and spoke to a congrega- 
tion of soldiers and convicts. At two o'clock he preached at 
Muizenberg, and between three and four o'clock at Herman's 
Kraal. He afterwards held a short service at Diep River, and 
gave a sermon in English at Wynberg. Then, mounting his 
horse, he proceeded to Cape Town, where he arrived about nine 
o'clock, having ridden twenty- six miles and held six services. 
After another equally heavy day, he wrote : * I had a cup of 
coffee and a bit of bread about six o'clock in the morning ; 
from that time I had neither breakfast nor dinner till I reached 
home at eight o'clock in the evening. Yet I am quite hearty 
and strong. Bless the Lord, O my soul !' 

Mr. Shaw was the first to unfurl the Bethel flag at the mast 
of the Undaunted, and preach to the sailors in Table Bay. He 
was among the first to visit Robben Island, preaching on 
Captain Pedder's verandah to such as understood English, and 
afterwards in the prison to the convicts in Dutch. He held 
open-air services on the Grand Parade and near the wharf. 
He preached to men of all colours and of all grades of society. 
On the lawn of Sir John Truter, the Chief Justice, or beneath 
the shade of an oak-tree, or in smoke-blackened huts, he 
delighted to unfold the * unsearchable riches of Christ,' and 
lead men to the Saviour. 

The condition of the slaves was still deplorable. The Dutch 
citizens and their families might be seen wending their way to 
church on the Sabbath, followed by slaves carrying their 
owner's Bible and Psalm-Book to the door of the church 
which they were not allowed to enter. The slave was supposed 
to be an inferior being, and to have no part in the message of 
the Gospel. A few of the Dutch took a more Christian view 
of the coloured races, and held meetings for their instruction ; 
but they were unable to effect any change in the general 
attitude of their countrymen. This antipathy continued until 

Digitized by V^OOQl€ 


the latter half of the nineteenth century, when, chiefly through 
the influence of the Rev. Andrew Murray and two of his 
brothers, the Dutch Reformed Church realized the importance 
of evangelizing the native races, and it now has important 
Missions in Rhodesia, Transvaal, Natal, and Central Africa 
at Lake Nyassa. 

In the year 1834 slavery was abolished throughout the 
British Empire. There were about 39,000 slaves in Cape 
Colony. With few exceptions, they were not harshly treated, 
and their labour was not severe. But owners, as well as 
slaves, were degraded, when human beings were bought and 
sold like ploughs and spades. The taint of slavery still clings 
to South Africa in the widespread contempt of menial labour 
as the employment of an inferior and semi- barbarous race. 
Of the ;^2o,ooo,ooo sterling voted by the British Parliament 
as compensation to the slave-owners, about ;^i, 250,000 were 
apportioned to the Cape, or about ;^32 a slave. This was less 
than half their appraised value ; but the colonists would 
probably have been satisfied if the money had been paid to 
them personally. The British Colonial Office, blundering as 
it often did in the management of South African affairs, made 
the compensation drafts payable in London only. The slave- 
owners became the victims of speculative agents who bought 
the drafts at half, and often less than half, their face^ value, and 
scores of families were reduced to beggary. 

The Dutch were profoundly disgusted. They had not been 
touched by the current of feeling which in England sought to 
vindicate the human rights of the slave. They had been 
deeply irritated when, in 1828, the Hottentots were declared by 
Government ordinance *to be entitled to every privilege to 
which any other British subjects are entitled.* Their irritation 
increased when the missionaries, the only protectors the slaves 
had, reported cases of cruel treatment to the authorities, and 
they complained that charges were made on insufficient 
evidence, which is not improbable. One hundred and seventy 
years of slave-holding had made the Dutch implacable and 
unreasonable. To have natives placed on a level with them- 
selves, to be denounced by the missionaries, and then to have 
their slaves taken from them for reasons they could neither 
understand nor approve, was more than they could endure. 
Resistance to a strong power like England was doomed to 
failure ; but to the north was a vast extent of country almost 
without inhabitant. So the cry arose: *Let us seek a new 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



home, where we can retain our old customs, and deal with our 
slaves as we please.' It is stated that in 1836, and two 
following years, 10,000 Dutch persons, chiefly from the rural 
districts, left Cape Colony to escape what they considered the 
meddlesome rule of the British ; and from the * Great Trek * 
or emigration, as it was called, arose those racial animosities 
which in recent years have desolated South Africa. 

At Cape Town, the Emancipation was celebrated by a huge 
feast of beef and bread given in the Government Gardens to 
thousands of slave children. On the evening of the last day of 
slavery, the".Wesleyan church and other city churches were 
crowded with slaves and their families, and the services were 
continued until after midnight. As the final stroke of twelve 
died on the air, Mr. Shaw announced 
in tones full of emotion : * Slavery is 
dead.* An attempt was made to sing 
the doxology, but the newly- freed men 
and women broke down into sobs and 
exclamations of thankfulness. Many 
persons had prophesied that drunken- 
ness and disorder would attend the 
liberation of so large a number of 
slaves ; but there was very little of 
either. Thirty-nine thousand men and 
women and children, in deep poverty, 
without food or homes, were set wholly 
free and were quietly absorbed into the 
labouring classes of the colony. 

Early in the year 1836 the Rev. 
T. L. Hodgson arrived at the Cape 
for a second term of ministerial service in South Africa, and 
was appointed Chairman of the District. He made the 
coloured population of Cape Town the special objects of his 
attention. In order to carry the Gospel to those who never 
attended any church, he commenced open-air services on 
the Parade, where several years before similar meetings had 
been held by the Rev. B. Shaw and Mr. Joseph Tindall ; but 
which, in consequence of the opposition of unruly persons, had 
been abandoned. Nor was Mr. Hodgson allowed to preach 
without disturbance. Inflammatory articles appeared in a 
newspaper, published in the Dutch language, abusing the 
Wesleyans and inciting the coloured people to riot. Hostility 
to the services was aroused, and some of the scenes resepablecl 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


those which were witnessed in England during the early days 
of Wesley's career, and revealed a deep animosity to Methodist 

On Sunday, July 4, 1836, Mr. Hodgson went with a few 
friends to the Parade to hold a service. Several hundred 
coloured persons were present, and it was soon manifest that 
a portion of the crowd was resolved on violence. During the 
singing of the second hymn a number of men pushed about 
roughly among the audience, and the fray commenced. 

* Blows were struck,' wrote Mr. Hodgson, * and blood was 
shed. Seeing one or two individuals intoxicated, one man 
without his coat, blood flowing from one or two persons, and 
our friends who were most active and courageous unable to 
stop the commotion, I felt a little alarmed for the consequences 
— not as affecting my personal safety, but for the credit of our 
cause, lest sufficient forbearance should not be shown and lest 
we should be censured for persisting in the duty of open-air 
preaching. While I attempted to preach, several stones were 
thrown, one of which hit me on the head and another on the 
hand. I dismissed the congregation and retired through the 
mob towards the lower end of the Parade, \^here a gig was 
waiting to convey me to Wynberg, and was followed by some 
hundreds, saluting us with shouts and occasional stones, one of 
which hit me on the back.* 

A memorial, asking for protection, was signed by prominent 
citizens and sent to the Governor, Sir Benjamin Durban, who 
had been urged by the opponents to put in force an old Dutch 
placaat, which forbade the holding of any service without the 
Governor's consent. Sir Benjamin Durban made full inquiry 
into the character of these open-air meetings, and, satisfied that 
they were likely to do good, he became their defender, saying : 

* We must stop nothing that is in any way calculated to be 

This incident quickened Mr. Hodgson's desire for the erec- 
tion of a church devoted to the coloured people, and in which 
they could worship without disturbance. Accordingly, a church 
was built for them in Sydney Street, hitherto a neglected part 
of the city, and it was opened in 1837. It was soon occupied 
by a large congregation, and the day-school which was opened 
proved a great benefit to the children. The great obstacle the 
workers at this church had to contend with for years was 
Mohammedanism. * The worship of the false prophet,' wrote 
Mr, H, Tindall, * wg^s iptroduced ipto the Colony during thQ 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


period of the Dutch rule from Java. It gradually found favour 
among the slaves, and its popularity continued after the 
Emancipation. At one time one-fifth of the population of 
Cape Town was Mohammedan. To many of its votaries it 
meant little beyond cakes, coffee, and a red handkerchief on 
the head. But gradually it took systematized form. Youths 
were sent to Mecca, and came back consecrated priests. 
Mosques were built. The Sultan of Turkey sent his blessing. 
The Mohammedans became a political power, and swayed 
elections. Nearly every church in Cape Town has endeavoured 
to grapple with this foe, but has had to confess itself beaten. 
Mohammedanism has great attractions for the carnal mind. 
Its merry holiday - keeping, its noisy festivals, its vaunted 
sobriety, and its loose morality, give it a strong hold on the 
passions of the people.' 

In 1837 the Rev. B. Shaw returned to England for the 
benefit of his health and the education of his children. He 
remained there for six years, and then the missionary fire was 
again stirred up in his heart by the successes of the Revs. E. 
Cook and J. Tindall in Great Namaqualand. He offered him- 
self for further service in South Africa, and his offer was 
accepted. In 1843 he sailed for the Cape, accompanied by his 
son the Rev. B. J. Shaw, the Rev. B. Ridsdale, and the Rev. 
T. B. Catterick. 

Upon their landing at Cape Town it was considered that 
Mr. Shaw was not equal to the fatigue of pioneer work in the 
interior. He therefore remained at the Cape, and took charge 
of the Stellenbosch, and subsequently of the Mowbray, cir- 
cuits. Mr. Haddy and Mr. J. Tindall returned to Damaraland, 
and Mr. Ridsdale went to Nisbett Bath. The story of the 
progress and abandonment of these missions has been told. 
Whilst at Stellenbosch Mr. Shaw, as an experiment, formed a 
settlement at Raithby for coloured people, purchasing land and 
letting it to them in small allotments ; so that, whilst hiring 
themselves out to the farmers, they could cultivate their land 
in spare moments, and send their children to the day-school. 
The experiment was not a success. Farmers were prejudiced 
against the arrangement; afterwards, villages sprang up in 
several places, and provided locations for the coloured people, 
and the settlement was broken up. 

In the year 1849 the Wesleyan congregations in Cape Town, 
both European and coloured, were richly blessed by the Hoty 
Spirit, and old Gospel truths were clothed with new power. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



At Burg Street Church many sought and found Christ. At 
Sydney Street, when the Rev. B. Ridsdale was preaching, 
there was a remarkable scene. * It seemed,' he wrote, * as if 
the very windows of heaven were opened. The whole congre- 
gation seemed to be moved. Deep and bitter cries and mighty 
prayer ascended to heaven from every part of the chapel. Such 
a sight I never beheld. Some, with lifted hands and streaming 
eyes, were praying for salvation in the most aifecting manner; 
others were kneeling at the seats with their heads buried in 
their hands, weeping and praying in deep distress. In less 
than an hour many were rejoiciifg in God their Saviour. On 
this one day, thirty souls were delivered from their spiritual 
captivity. Mr. Hodgson has been unspeakably cheered by 
these " times of refreshing '* in a town 
in which he has spent so many years 
of his ministerial life.' The devout 
student of the records of the early 
church will not look suspiciously 
upon such scenes, but will remember 
that again and again by such revivals 
has God^s kingdom been extended. 
The Methodist societies in Cape 
Town rejoiced that year in an in- 
crease of loo members. 

The following year Mr. Hodgson 
died. He had resided nearly twenty 
years in Cape Town. His last sermon 
was in Dutch, at Sydney Street. His 
gentle disposition and courtesy won 
esteem on every hand. His work 
among the Barolongs, when he dwelt for months in a waggon, 
living on coarse food, and often in great peril, can never be 
forgotten. His death was triumphant. A short time before he 
died, he said : * I have such a glorious view of the Jerusalem 
above. How pure ! how holy ! It almost makes me tremble 
to enter. But all our shortcomings are forgiven through the 
blood of Jesus. I see the pearly gates. They are open for 
unworthy me, and I shall enter in.' His funeral was attended 
by more than five thousand persons of all colours and races. 
He had lived down prejudice, and his manly, unselfish life had 
transformed enemies into friends. He who a few years befoie 
had been hooted and stoned on the Parade, was now carried to 
the grave with every mark of universal respect. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




He was succeeded, in 1851, by the Rev. W. Moister, who 
had laboured at the Gambia and in the West Indies. He was 
not only charged with the care of the Wesleyan churches in 
Cape Town, but was also appointed Chairman of the District, 
an office previously held by the Revs. T. L. Hodgson and 
B. Shaw. 

The duties of the Chairman necessitated occasionally long 
and difficult journeys into Namaqualand and Damaraland, the 
outlying portions of the district. It would serve little purpose 
to describe the many incidents of these extensive tours. Be- 
yond Piquetberg the road lay through deep, heavy sand, and 
along waterless plains, where a farmhouse was rarely to be 
seen. Rivers had to he forded, for ponts were not introduced 
until later. The Orange River was 
usually crossed on a raft, hastily con- 
structed : the waggon was taken across 
in sections, the oxen swimming. About 
1850 a boat was provided by friends 
in Cape Town, but, for safety, it was 
kept at Nisbett Bath, and, whenever 
required, had to be brought seventy 
miles on a waggon. But the incon- 
venience and dangers of travel were 
considered to be more than repaid by 
the hearty greetings of the missionaries 
and their families, who often saw no 
white face for two years in succession, 
and by the intense interest shown by 
the natives, many of whom walked 
or rode for miles to pay their respects 
to the Head of the Mission, as well as to enjoy the services 
on the Sabbath. The preaching of the Word, the sweet 
singing of the Namaquas, and the prayers of the converts on 
the Lord's Day, the inspection of buildings, the consideration 
of plans for extension, and the travelling from station to station, 
made the time pass quickly. From such expeditions the 
Chairman returned bronzed and fatigued, but happy in having 
cheered and encouraged toilers on remote and lonely stations. 

In 1857 the venerable father of South African Methodism, 
the Rev. Barnabas Shaw, passed to his eternal rest. For 
forty-one years he had been unwearied in Christian labour. 
His picturesque narratives of the Namaqua Mission thrilled 
the bpmQ cburches, 9iid called forth generous offers of help. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Methodism at the cape 77 

After leaving Lilyfontein for the Cape, his strength was spent 
chiefly among the native races, to whom he always considered 
he had a special mission. In the spirit of his Divine Master, 
he went to the lost, the degraded, the poor. In 1854 ^® retired 
to Mowbray, where, near the Wesleyan church, he had built a 
house in which to pass the evening of his life. During the 
three years of his retirement he suffered much from rheumatisn, 
induced by hardship and exposure to drenching rains. One 
morning he said to the Rev. W. Moister, who lived in an 
adjoining dweUing : * I have been so ill. Did you hear me 
shout in the night ? I had such a glorious shout, and it 
seemed to relieve me a little.' He died full of immortal hope, 
and left a name which will always be cherished by the 
Methodist people. 

An additional church was erected in the year 1859 in Hope 
Street, on the west side of the city, nearly a mile from either Burg 
Street or Sydney Street. The building was largely indebted 
to Mr. James Smithers for its completion. The church served 
the double purpose of a place of worship and a schoolroom. 

We have already recorded that about the year 1867, the 
Missionary Committee, pressed by financial difficulties, directed 
that all the stations north of the Orange River were to be 
transferred to the Rhenish Society. The same retrenching 
hand fell heavily on the coloured congregations at the Cape. 
The order was sent from London that the Wesleyan societies 
at Montagu, French Hoek, Swellendam, and other places, were 
to be abandoned. The shock was severely felt. Wesleyan 
ministers are loyal to authority, but it must be admitted that 
their loyalty was put to a severe test. To cast adrift churches, 
on which they had spent years of prayerful toil, and which 
were prospering, seemed as dishonourable as a retreat on the 
battlefield seems to a soldier. At Montagu the Dutch Re-' 
formed Church took over the congregation. When the mandate 
came to Swellendam the Rev. F. Edwards, son of the Rev. E. 
Edwards, exclaimed : * They say I am to go. I will not go.' 
And go he did not. He applied to Bishop Gray, of Cape 
Town, for ordination, was readily accepted, and he and his 
congregation in a body joined the AngHcan Episcopal Church. 
The weakening effect of this desertion of the Dutch speaking 
coloured population at the Cape was felt for years. The 
abandoned churches were never regained. 

Burg Street Church had become endeared to the congrega- 
tion worshipping within its walls. Many had begun their 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



spiritual life there, and their minds had been enriched by its 
services. When an effort was made in 187 1 to free the building 
from debt, Mr. James Maynard gave ;^i,ioo. For some time, 
however, there had been a growing conviction that a larger 


church, and one more worthy of the capital city, was urgently 
required. In the year 1875 M^* Lansberg's store, in Green- 
market Square, close to Burg Street, was burnt to the ground, 
and the site was offered for sale. The Wesleyans purchased 
it for the sum of ;^i,500. Subsequently a small house adjoining 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


was secured for £s5^' ^^® ground being obtained, designs 
for a new church were invited. It was to be in the Gothic 
style of architecture, and to seat i,ooo persons. When the 
plans came in, it was found that the structure would cost more 
than had been anticipated, and proceedings were suspended. 
At this juncture Mr. Joseph Maynard, the brother of James, 
came to the rescue with a gift of ;^i,ooo and a loan of ;^3,ooo 
at 3 per cent. This generous offer placed the whole scheme 
in a hopeful position, and the new church was commenced. 
The foundation-stone was laid by Sir Henry Barkly, Governor 
of Cape Colony. In his address at the ceremony he said : * In 
many respects the Wesleyans have a right to expect my services, 
for though in this colony the State is unconnected with any 
religious body, it does not follow that 
it should be irreligious. On the con- 
trary, it must ever be deeply concerned 
with all that conduces to the spread of 
morality and the repression of crime. 
I have seen too many proofs of the zeal 
and devotion of Wesleyan ministers in 
this and other colonies not to have 
learnt to respect them highly, and to 
desire to co-operate with them wherever 
I consistently can. Every church 
built, every school founded, serves as 
an outwork thrown up against infidelity 

and sin, whatever the particular corps 

of Christians is called by which it is r^v. s. hardey. 

to be manned.' 

The Rev. S. Hardey, to whom the scheme was partly due, 
watched the progress of the building with intense interest, but 
before it was completed he was taken ill, and died in September, 
1878. His death was a serious loss. In India, Mauritius, 
Australia, and Cape Town, he had laboured, and in every place 
he was the same courteous, saintly gentleman. Power sat 
gracefully upon him. He was unwearied in his attention to 
the sick, whilst his pulpit utterances were always helpful. 
For fifteen years he had resided in Cape Town, and, possessing 
great powers of endurance, he toiled on long after he had passed 
the fiftieth year of his ministry. By adherents of all denomina- 
tions he was held in the highest esteem. * Tell my people,' he 
said, * that I die in the faith which I have held for half a 
century ; that I am going from them, but that I shall never 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



forget them.* His name is still gratefully remembered in Cape 

By this death the Rev. J. Smith Spencer, who had been 
invited with the approval of the British Conference, to be 
Mr. Hardey's colleague, found on his arrival at the Cape that 
he had to take charge of Metropolitan Methodism. He was in 
the prime of life, an eloquent preacher, and an able lecturer. 
The new church was opened for public worship on Novem- 
ber 12, 1879, and it is undoubtedly one of the most handsome 
ecclesiastical edifices in Cape Town. It would have been still 
handsomer if it had been built in a wide open space with grassy 
lawns around it, instead of being thrust close to the pavement, 
and shut in on the other side by warehouses. The whole cost, 
including the organ, was ;^i 7,700. In 
1887 Messrs. C. H. and J. W. Attwell, 
with the consent of the trustees, laid 
the aisles, porches, and communion, 
with encaustic tiles, in memory of their 
father, Richard L. Attwell. The old 
church in Burg Street was not sold, 
but was transformed into the well- 
known MetropoHtan Hall, in which 
are carried on a Sabbath-school and 
other departments of church work. 

The spiritual wants of the coloured 
people were not neglected. In the year 
1883 a large wine-store at the corner 
of Buitenkant and Albertus Streets 
was purchased on their behalf for 
£i,S2y, and under the direction of the 
Rev. R. Ridgill extensive structural alterations were effected 
at a cost of ;^i,746, which made it an excellent place of worship. 
It was capable of seating 900 persons, and was speedily filled 
by the increasing congregation. In 1902, as the building showed 
decay, it was renovated at a cost of about ;^2,ooo ; the roof 
was raised, larger windows were inserted, and the gallery 
reconstructed. To the success of this scheme the Rev. G. 
Robson devoted much of his time and energy. 

There are signs that Methodism is recovering from the 
disastrous retreat of 1867 from the work amongst the coloured 
people. In addition to the congregation in Buitenkant Street 
there are flourishing churches for coloured people at Mowbray, 
Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Robertson, Raithby, Lady Grey, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




Beaufort West, and Lowry's Pass. At Sea Point a hall has 
been opened, Port Elizabeth has recently erected a church, 
and Cradock has long had its church for the same class of the 
population. At an early period the Congregational Church 
devoted itself to the spiritual instruction of these people. The 
Anglicans, at a later date, entered the field. Within recent 
years the Dutch Reformed Church has taken up the work. 
Methodists rejoice in the efforts of these churches, but there is 
yet room for more labourers, and in every town in the western 
districts the coloured people would welcome Methodist services. 
It has been urged that if the abler men amongst them were 
encouraged to become ministers, and a theological institution 
established for their benefit ; if they had their own Synod, and 
sent their own representatives to the 
Annual Conference, they would be 
stimulated to greater exertions. But 
hitherto the coloured people cannot be 
said to have displayed the necessary 
mental vigour and capacity, and the 
congregations have manifested a de- 
cided preference for European minis- 
trations. What is needed is a larger 
number of trained Dutch - speaking 
evangelists, full of zeal for the salvation 
of those of their race who are outside 
, the churches. 

At a later date a movement, called 
somewhat ambitiously the * Wesleyan 
Evangelistic Mission,' was commenced. 
It grew out of the * Christian Workers' 
Association,' founded by the Rev. James Thompson, M.A. A 
branch society was opened in Bree Street, and Mr. Irwin's store 
was hired for social and religious meetings. From the com- 
mencement the principle acted upon w^as that in God's House 
there should be no distinction of colour. White or brown or 
black, all worshipped together. Owing to the inability of the 
congregation to support an ordained minister, the work devolved 
upon the laity, and Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Shaw rendered 
valuable assistance. In 1896 this movement was formed into 
a separate organization, and placed under the supervision of 
the superintendent minister. In the year 1900 the niission 
entered upon new premises in Strand Street, known as Victoria 
Hall ; but in consequence of the dwellings in the neighbour- 
Digitized by LnOOQlC 



hood being pulled down to make room for warehouses, the 
congregation diminished. In 1904 the hall was sold, and the 
Mission was removed to Woodstock, where there is a prospect 
of usefulness amongst a large labouring population^. 

The last decade of the nineteenth century was marked by an 
extraordinary increase in the p6pulation of Cape Town and its 
suburbs. From Sea Point in the west, to Maitland in the 
east, and to Wynberg in the south, villas, terraces, and streets 
of houses, sprang up in rapid succession. The population 
nearly doubled, and land trebled and quadrupled in value. 
Numerous Wesleyan families migrated from the city to the 
suburbs, seeking rural quiet or pure sea air. The church in 
Greenmarket Street might continue to be the chief home of 
Metropolitan Methodism, but it was seen that suburban 
churches must be erected, or many Wesleyans would have to 
join other communions. 

As early as the year 1883, during the pastorate of the Rev. 
J. Smith Spencer, a church was erected at Salt River, chiefly 
for artisans employed in the Railway Locomotive Works. In 
1905 this was superseded by a larger church erected in Roode- 
bloem Road, and the old building was transferred to the 
coloured congregation. 

In 1894 ^ Wesleyan church was opened at Observatory 
Road, which was largely assisted by Mr. W. Marsh. The 
site was given by Mr. J. W. Wood. In 1902 the church had 
to be enlarged, and still further expansion is contemplated. 

During the superintendency of the Rev. E. Nuttall other 
churches were erected. One at Sea Point, in 1897, to meet 
the needs of this popular and rising suburb to the west of 
Cape Town. Another at Rosebank, to supersede the old one 
built by the Rev. T. L. Hodgson in the year 1845, and the 
first sermon in which was preached by the Rev. B. Shaw, who 
informed his hearers how in former days he used to walk down 
the adjoining road, ringing a bell to summon the people to 
worship, and then preached under the shade of an oak. 
Mr. Shaw also told them how he was followed by the Moham- 
medans, who tried to subvert the coloured people that came 
to hear him. This aroused his indignation, and he thundered 
at the intruders the lines lurid enough to satisfy the most 
bigoted Puritan : 

* The Arab thief . . . and fiend expel, 
And chase his doctrine back to hell' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The old church, transformed into a hall and schoolroom, is in 
the rear of the new Gothic church with its tall spire, and the 
former name, Mowbray, has been abandoned for Rosebank. 
At the side of the church still stands the house in which 
Barnabas Shaw passed from earth to life immortal. 

In 1904 a Wesleyan church was opened at Claremont, six 
miles from Cape Town. A place of worship was erected here in 
1859, on land given by Mr. J. A. Stegman, with a view to 
benefit the Mohammedans in the neighbourhood; but the 


situation was unsuitable, and in 1879 the building was sold. 
After an interval of twenty-five years the locality is again 

Where Edward Edwards once laboured alone there are now 
twenty churches and twelve ministers, besides several native 

Hitherto the Methodist Church, for lack of fiinds, had been 
unable to undertake one important form of Christian philan- 
thropy—the care of orphaned children. The Anglican and 
Roman Catholic churches, having command of greater financial 
resources, possessed Orphanages and Homes in different parts 

Digitized by V&re©gle 



of South Africa. That Methodists had no such institution 
was often regretted, and when the Twentieth Century Fund 
was initiated, ;^5,ooo of the ;^5o,ooo to be raised was allocated 
to the establishment of an orphanage. Before the fund was 
fully formed the need was abimdantly supplied in an unex- 
pected manner. Mr. William Marsh, a wealthy Cape Town 
merchant, and a Methodist, died in 1901, and in his will left 
;^2oo,ooo for the erection and maintenance of homes for orphan 
and destitute children. The only con- 
dition attached was that the children 
should be white ; there was no restric- 
tion as to creed. The spending of the 
money was left to the absolute dis- 
cretion of his only son, the Rev. T. E. 
Marsh, who entered the Wesleyan 
ministry in 1879; and the powers vested 
in him were at his death to pass to the 
Wesleyan Conference. An estate of 
sixty-two acres, situated near Ronde- 
bosch, known as * Woodside,' where a 
Dutch Governor, Simon Van der Stell, 
once resided, was purchased ; and on 
this estate are already erected several 
homes, in blocks of two houses, double- 
storied. Two homes for girls (the 
* Stephenson* and the * Gregory' Homes) have been completed, 
and also a third for boys (the * Milner ' Home). The family sys- 
tem is adopted, and each house accommodates twenty children, 
who are under the care of a * mother,' or matron. In front of 
the houses is a large lawn. A hall has been erected for Divine 
worship, named * Hardey Hall,' and rehgion in its brightest 
form pervades the homes. An extensive orchard has been 
planted, and on the other side of the Kroomboom River, which 
runs through the property, 1,500 vines have been planted. 
These, with the kitchen gardens, will provide plenty of work for 
the elder boys. No servants will be kept in the homes, but 
all the housework will be done by the girls under the super- 
intendence of the * mothers.' Thus both boys and girls will 
receive a useful and practical training. The age limit for 
admission, as at present fixed, is from two years to twelve, 
and the children will be retained until they are fourteen years 
of age. 

The first two applications for admission were pathetic. A 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



railway employe was taking his wife and two children down 
the line on a trolley to see some festivities at a distance. Sud- 
denly a locomotive came rushing down the track, and all that 
the parents had time to do was to throw the children clear 
of the trolley, when the engine dashed into them and killed 
them on the spot. Both the children were admitted into 
the home. There are now thirty boys and forty girls in 

Large as was the amount which Mr. Marsh left, it appears 
that it is not sufficient to erect the 
requisite buildings and at the same 
time endow them, if the institution is to 
be large enough to meet the numerous 
requests for admission. Boys and girls, 
some of whom are in grave moral 
danger, have had to be refused for lack 
of accommodation. A boy sleeping 
in a disused graveyard and living on 
crusts of bread given by neighbours, 
a little girl left alone through her 
mother's death, a clergyman's son 
running wild, are a few of the needy 
cases that have had to be declined. 
It is necessary that at least another 
house for boys and one for infants rev. t. e. marsh. 

should be erected by friends, and thus 

allow the original fund to be devoted to the sustenance of the 
inmates. * If the homes are provided,* says Mr. T. E. Marsh, 
•we can feed and clothe and train the children.* 

In the year 1900 the Bookroom was removed from Queens- 
town to Cape Town, with the Rev. R. Lamplough as steward. 
In 1905 he died, having spent fifty years in the Wesleyan 
ministry. He was twice President of the South African 
Conference. He was also secretary and treasurer of the Mis- 
sionary Society from its commencement. His ability and 
courtesy won for him the esteem and confidence of the whole 
Methodist Church. 

An outbreak of bubonic plague in Cape Town in 1901 was 
follow^ed by the removal of the natives to a location at Uitvlugt, 
near Maitland, where accommodation was provided by the 
Government for 8,000 Kafirs. The Rev. E. Nuttall promptly 
secured a plot of ground, centrally situated, and on this a 
native church and minister's house were erected. The whole 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


cost, including the fencing of the ground, was ;^i,75o. Here 
is a fine field for Christian effort. House-to-house visitation is 
carried on; local preachers hold services at street corners, 
taking the Gospel to the indifferent, and many a native when 
he returns to his distant home in Kafirland carries away Fome- 
thing more precious than the * gold that perisheth.' 

Until the commencement of the nineteenth century the 
inhabitants of the Western towns were chiefly of Dutch descent, 
and the work of Methodism was limited to the coloured popu- 
lation, except at Simonstown, the naval station. As the over- 
sea trade of the colony developed, chiefly with England, 
English persons settled in the towns of the west, and they 
applied sometimes to the Anglican Episcopal Church, and 
sometimes to the Methodist Church, for religious services. 
English Wesleyan congregations were in consequence formed 
at Beaufort West, Muizenberg, and other places. 

Wynberg is situated amid some of the finest scenery in South 
Africa, so grand are the outlines of Table Mountain, and so 
rich is the foliage of the trees. The Wesleyan church, built 
in the year 1829, had been added to and patched, and was in a 
very unsatisfactory condition. At the same time, it was heavily 
burdened with debt, and to build a new church Appeared to be 
impossible. In the midst of this perplexity two brothers, 
James and Joseph Maynard, erected and presented to the 
Wesleyan s the present church, in the Italian style of archi- 
tecture. Mr. James gave the building, and Mr. Joseph gave 
the site and the internal fittings. This was in 1851. The old 
church was handed over to the coloured people for their exclu- 
sive use. In 1894 t^® °^w church, now old, was enlarged and 
improved, so as to seat 360 persons, and a handsome range of 
school buildings was erected. 

Within recent years the Wynberg circuit has expanded. A 
Wesleyan church for Europeans has been built at Kenilworth, 
a picturesque suburb, and another at Muizenberg, a popular 
watering-place at the head of False Bay. In 1899 the coloured 
congregation at Diep River, with their church built in 1840 by 
the Rev. R. Haddy, was transferred to Wynberg. A school- 
room and a catechist's house had been added in 1884 by the 
Rev. R. Ridgill. The Diep River church was enlarged in 
1902, and the catechist, Mr. Macleod, laboured there for thirty- 
seven years, and died in the work. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


For half a century Methodism at Simonstown made very 
little progress. Soldiers and sailors were constantly moving, 
and if won to Christ did not permanently strengthen the local 
church. * When I began to attend this church,' said a soldier, 
* I was like one of the planks of the floor. I was as hard and 
as stupid as a piece of wood. But the Lord had mercy on me.' 
A sailor testified : * I came to the service drunk, but the Lord 
convinced me of sin, and delivered me, so that I can now rejoice 
in Jesus.' Within six months both speakers were probably at 
the other side of the world. In 1886 the Rev. Ellis Williams 
made a humble attempt to provide a * Home * for the men of 
both the naval and military services, which was urgently 
needed, but the only premises he could secure were unfavour- 
ably situated at the back of another building. What was re- 
quired was a fully-equipped institution in a suitable position, 
and as no local help was available Mr. Williams obtained per- 
mission to visit England and solicit funds. He collected ;^5oo, 
but on his return, not being able to procure a convenient site, 
he placed the money in the bank. In 1896 the Rev. W. S. 
Caldecott and Mr. John E. Wood, M.L.A., interviewed Sir 
Gordon Sprigg, the Premier, and obtained from the Govern- 
ment a grant of ;f 750 towards the building fund, but no further 
step could then be taken. The Rev. J. H. Gathercole, on his 
arrival, entered heartily into the scheme, and was able to 
secure a suitable piece of ground. In 1890 the Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Home was at length completed, and was opened with 
many congratulations by Rear- Admiral Sir R. H. Harris. 
The home contains library, reading-room, dining-room, and 
dormitories with thirty beds. During the first year over 6,000 
men slept at the home. The value of such an institution can 
scarcely be overestimated, for it furnishes food at moderate 
prices, and without the fascination of intoxicating liquor. In 
several instances men staying at the home have been rescued 
from intemperance, and have entered upon a Christian life. 

The Rev. W. S Caldecott, during his brief pastorate (1896-97) 
renovated and beautified the church on the hillside built in 
1829, and added thereto a schoolroom for Sabbath and Day 
schools. He also erected a convenient parsonage. With 
this equipment Methodism in Simonstown has a hopeful 

Stellenbosch, an old Dutch town, with wide streets lined 
with oak-trees, was visited by the Rev. E. Edwards as early as 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




the year 1837, in order to preach to the newly-liberated slaves 
employed in the vineyards. The Dutch were not favourable 
to the instruction of their servants, but they offered no opposi- 
tion to the Wesleyans, whom they 
looked upon with friendly feelings. 
Mr. Edwards resided at Stelienbosch 
for nearly thirty years. 

At first he preached in the hall of 
his. house, but in 1840 a church was 
completed, and the Dutch Reformed 
minister, the Rev. J. T. Heroldt, 
preached the opening sermon. In 1 843 
the Rev. B. Shaw was appointed to 
Stelienbosch, but in 1848 Mr. Edwards 
returned to his former charge, and 
whether in Namaqualand, Cape Town, 
or Stelienbosch, he was always assidu- 
ous, fearless, and devout. After forty- 
seven years of faithful service he retired 
in 1864, and died in 1866, saying: * All 
is well, give my love to the brethren.' He was succeeded at 
Stelienbosch in 1865 by the Rev. J. Priestley, and in 1874 
by the Rev. R. Ridgill, who, during nis seven years' residence, 
built, in 1878, the present handsome 
and commodious Gothic church at a 
cost of ;^2,5oo. In 1 88 1 the Rev. H. 
Tindall took charge of the congrega- 
tion, and remained at Stelienbosch for 
fifteen years. The work was. carried 
on amid discouraging circumstances. 
Numbers of the coloured people re- 
moved to Kimberley, Cape Town, and 
the Transvaal, attracted thither by the 
prospect of higher wages. In this way 
the local church lost many of its most 
promising young people, and not a few 
of its experienced officials. Methodism 
retained, however, its distinctive fea- 
tures. The class meeting was main- 
tained and appreciated, as it generally 
is by the natives. In 1896 Mr. Tindall's health failed, and he 
retired from the active ministry after having laboured for forty- 
six years. He was President of the Conference in 1888. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




The Rev. W. F. Edwards succeeded him, and removed 
from Robertson, where for twenty-one years he had been 
pastor of the coloured congregation. His death, in 1901, was 
a great loss to the Dutch department of Methodist work in the 
Western Province. A name to be honoured is that of Mr. C. W. 
Hendrickse, who for forty-two years was catechist at Stellen- 
bosch, and was a man of devoted piety and zeal. 

Somerset West is a pleasant village lying within a crescent- 
shaped opening at the foot of the Hottentot's Holland Moun- 
tains. The Mission was commenced in 1837, just as the 
coloured people were emerging from slavery, by the Rev. 
Barnabas Shaw, who purchased an old wine-store and trans- 
formed it into a place of worship. The floor was made of 
earth, smeared once a week with cow- 
dung, a more cleanly process than 
might be supposed. Numbers of 
coloured men and women came on 
Sundays from the surrounding farms, 
walking several miles, and carrying 
their shoes in their hands, putting them 
on when about to enter the village. 
Maidens came bare-headed, matrons 
covered their heads with a white ker- 
chief, and the men wore leather trousers, 
fustian jackets, and rough shoes of 
untanned hide. In 1847 this building 
was enlarged, and accommodation was 
provided for 500 persons. Two years 
later Somerset West was separated 
from Stellenbosch, and placed under 
the pastorate of the Rev. R. Ridgill, who resided here at different 
times for sixteen years. In the year 1861 he completed the 
existing handsome church, the first at the Cape in a creditable 
style of architecture. Hitherto Wesleyan churches had been 
ugly barn-like specimens of the hideous style prevalent in the 
early Georgian era. Recently services have been commenced 
on Sunday evenings for the European residents. 

At Somerset West, in 1883, the Rev. J. A. Bailie died, after 
thirty-seven years of self-denying labour at Nisbett Bath, 
Lilyfontein, Simonstown, Wynberg, and Somerset West. 
The claims of the heathen and of the coloured people, con- 
strained him to a life of toil and privation in rough pioneer- 
Digitized by LnOOQlC 




ing days. He was buried at Stellenbosch in the Dutch 

Mr. Ridgill's later years were spent at Wynberg, where he 
died in 1899. ^^ had been a minister for fifty-six years, and 
from the first devoted himself to the Dutch-speaking natives. 
He was President of the Conference in 1885, and discharged 
the duties of that office with his usual urbane and dignified 
manner. He compiled a hymn-book in Dutch, of which he 
lived to publish seven editions. He had a fine poetic taste, 
and many of the hymns were either his own composition or 
translations of Wesley's hymns. He was a preacher of a fine 
order, and never cared to preach a sermon which did not con- 
tain sufficient Gospel truth to guide a seeker to Christ. 

Robertson is another neat town of the Dutch type, and was 
for sixteen years the scene of the labours of the Rev. H. Tindall 
from 1859 to 1874. ^h® mission is 
exclusively to the Dutch - speaking 
coloured people, and the work is 
rendered difficult by the intemperate 
habits of many, and the wretched 
dwellings they occupy. Education and 
improved habitations, together with 
the preaching of the Gospel, are slowly 
uplifting them from their squalor. In 
the year 1867 Mr. Tindall succeeded 
in building a beautiful Gothic church, 
the appearance of which was a con- 
stant incentive to the congregation to 
improve their own dwellings. This 
church was enlarged by the Rev. W. F. 
Edwards, who succeeded Mr. Tindall 
in 1 874, and during his long and faithful 
pastorate of twenty-one years, from 1874 *o 1880, and again 
from 1 88 1 to 1896, the congregation increased, and a schoolroom 
was built. At Lady Grey a church was erected chiefly through 
the exertions of Mr. J. D. Lindsey ; and now Robertson and Lady 
Grey form one of the most promising Mission circuits in the west. 
It will have been perceived that from the first the work ot 
Methodism in the west was of a missionary character. It 
could scarcely be otherwise. The coloured people, hitherto 
neglected, were naturally those to whom the Wesleyan ministers 
devoted their labours. They went to those who needed them 

Digitized by L^OOQlC 



most. The iron hoof of slavery had left its degrading marks 
upon its victims in the form of lying, uncleanness, and indo- 
lence. Many of the liberated slaves spent their scanty earnings 
at the canteen, and lived in dwellings in which an English 
farmer would disdain to keep his pigs. The practice of the 
western farmers of paying their servants, partly in wine, given 
in the intervals of labour, tended to degrade them. Many of 
them occupied small plots of ground, and eked out a pre- 
carious livelihood by growing vegetables, and they were very 
poor. The labour bestowed upon these people was, however, 
attended with encouraging results. Many of them became 
consistent Christians, and as lay preachers and class leaders 
sought with earnestness to lead their neighbours to Christ and 
a higher life. The Government, by lessening the temptations 
to drunkenness, and making the prohibitory clauses of the 
Innes Act compulsory, and municipalities by insisting upon 
sanitary dwellings, can largely assist in their moral and 
material improvement. Without such aid the missionary is 
hindered, and sometimes baffled in his efforts. The permanent 
degradation of the labouring poor no one can desire. 

Yielding to repeated requests, Beaufort West was occupied 
in 1883 as an outpost of the Cape Town circuit. The Rev. J. 
Smith Spencer, with Messrs. C. Lewis and S. Tonkin, two 
well-known Methodist laymen of Cape Town, visited Beaufort 
West, and a church, erected for the use of a Presbyterian 
minister, was presented to them by the trustees. The Rev. 
W. W. Rider was appointed to the town, and steady progress 
was made from the commencement. A few years later an 
excellent parsonage was presented by Mr. D. M. Wilson, as a 
thank-offering for his success in commercial pursuits. He was 
on his wayiirom Johannesburg to Europe, when the train broke 
down at Beaufort West, where he had formerly resided. He 
walked into the town to see old friends, and, meeting the Rev. 
T. D. Rogers, who had succeeded Mr. Rider, he inquired how 
the Methodist congregation was progressing. Finding that a 
parsonage was needed, Mr. Wilson bought one for ;^i,ioo, 
paid for it, presented it to the Wesleyan church, and in a few 
hours resumed his journey. Within recent years, during the 
pastorate of the Rev. D. Moore, a church for the coloured 
people has been built in the town, and one for the Kafirs in 
the location. With few notable events, Methodism is a force 
in Beaufort West» making for righteousness) not to be ignored. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


The opening of the copper mines in Namaqualand, and the 
arrival of a number of Cornish miners to develop them, ren- 
dered it necessary for the Wesleyans to provide for the spiritual 
wants of the newcomers. For some time the mining stations 
were visited from Lilyfontein, a distance of ninety miles ; but 
in 1876 the Rev. W. Cliff was sent to O'okiep, and he extended 
his labours to the other mines. There are now two ministers 
on the ground — one at O^okiep, and the other at Concordia — for 
whom residences are provided by the South African Mining 
Company, which also makes grants towards the cost of the 
Mission. The congregations are small but active, and sixty- 
eight persons are members of the church. Attention is also 
given to the natives who earn good wages, and could make 
their homes comfortable ; but what should be spent in food 
and clothing often passes into the hands of the canteen-keeper. 
By means of the services, not a few of the native labourers 
have been rescued from drunkenness and abject poverty, and 
assisted to temperate thrifty habits and a devout life. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


AT the close of the wars with Napoleon England suffered 
severely from commercial depression. Bread was 
dear, and flour sold at famine prices. Trade was 
diminished, and labour was ill -paid. Disbanded 
soldiers and dockyard labourers wandered over the country 
seeking in vain for employment. Bankruptcies were numerous, 
and thousands of families struggled for a bare existence. 

To relieve this distress. Lord Charles Somerset, the Governor 
of Cape Colony, suggested that a number of English families 
should be located in the district called the * Zuurveld,' where 
they could obtain a comfortable livelihood as farmers and 

The Zuurveld has no definite boundary, but it may be said 
to extend from the Great Fish River to Algoa Bay, and from 
the Zuurberg Range to the sea. It derives its name, Zuur- 
veld, or Sour Pasture, from the acid nature of the grass, pro- 
duced, it is supposed, by the saline sea-breezes. Mimosa- thorn 
trees stud the landscape, whilst on the slopes of the hills grow 
succulent shrubs, as the spekboom (the favourite food of the 
elephant), hollow-skinned euphorbias, with their melancholy - 
looking branches, and aloes, with their brilliant crimson flowers. 
This district had for nearly forty years been overrun by various 
clans of the fierce Ama-Xosa, under their chiefs, Cungwa and 

This aggression was a distinct breach of treaty. In the 
year 1780 the Ama-Xosa formally acknowledged to the Dutch 
Governor, Joachin Van Plattenberg, that the Great Fish River, 
which, as a nation, they had not yet crossed, was the boundary 
of their country, and that beyond it they had neither right nor 
claim. But they never attempted to keep within the recognised 
limit. The cattle of the Dutch farmers excited their cupidity, 
and on several occasions the Ama-Xosa swarmed across the 

93 Digitized by LnOOgle 


Fish River and laid waste the Zuurveld, burning houses, 
slaying farmers, and sweeping off thousands of cattle and 

These destructive raids continued until Cape Colony became 
a British possession. In the year 1811 the Governor, Sir John 
Cradock, resolved to clear the Zuurveld of the marauders. 
By his orders. Colonel John Graham, at the head of a large 
body of soldiers and burghers, entered the Addo Bush and 
drove the Ama-Xosa before them. Cungwa was shot in a 
skirmish near Alexandria. Ndlambe fled; and, before the close 
of the year, 20,000 natives had been driven across the Fish 
River. Military posts were established on or near the river to 
guard the frontier, and the largest, built on a farm belonging 
ta Lucas Meyer, was called Grahamstown, in honour of the 
commander of the expedition. 

For some time the Zuurveld was unoccupied. Here and 
there a Dutch farmer ventured back to his old homestead, and 
resumed farming operations, but the dread of the Ama-Xosa 
hung over the land. In 1819 the Gcalekas, the royal tribe, 
led by Ndlambe, and a celebrated witch-doctor, Makana, 
crossed the Fish River, and, to the number of 10,000, attacked 
the military fort of Grahamstown, then garrisoned by about 
400 soldiers under Colonel Wilshire. * To battle ! To battle !* 
shouted Makana. * Let us drive the white men into the sea ; 
then we will sit down and eat honey.' 

The few soldiers met the attack with volleys of musketry 
and grape-shot. The Gcalekas fought with great bravery. 
They penetrated into the barrack square ; they rushed upon the 
muzzles of the guns, but were driven out at the point of the 
bayonet. Before mid-day they fled, leaving 1,700 of their 
number dead on the ground. The natives never again attacked 
a garrison town. 

The unwisdom of leaving the Zuurveld tenantless was thus 
forced upon the attention of the British Government, and 
Lord Charles Somerset urged that it should be filled up with 
British emigrants. * Here is a country,* he wrote, * unrivalled 
in the world for beauty and fertility.* Parliament readily 
voted ;^50,ooo for the purpose, and so great was the desire of 
Englishmen to seek their fortunes in South Africa that 90,000 
persons applied ; and out of these, with great care, 4,000 were 
selected. The descendants of the British settlers have every 
reason to be proud of their forbears, who, though they were 
poor, were shrewd, enterprising, industrious, and men of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


character. Glowing representations of the country they were 
to occupy were circulated. It was suited to the mulberry, the 
vine, and the melon ; it could grow all kinds of vegetables ; the 
surface had but to be tickled with a plough and it would smile 
with abundant crops of grain. The people emigrating to this 
Arcadia would soon find themselves, if not wealthy, very 
comfortable. Of the dangers they would probably have to 
encounter from Kafir incursions nothing was said. Such con- 
cealment may have been unintentional, but in subsequent 
days it created great discontent. 

The plan of the British Government was to send out the 
settlers in parties of ten, twenty, fifty, or a hundred families, 
each party being under a head with whom the authorities 
transacted their business. The religious wants of the emigrants 
were not overlooked, and, where a hundred families combined 
to form one party, they were at liberty to choose a minister of 
any denomination, and the Government would make an annual 
grant towards his support. 

A number of Wesleyan families, chiefly resident in London, 
decided to take with them a Wesleyan minister, and with the 
approval both of the Government and of the Missionary Com- 
mittee, the Rev. William Shaw, who was in no way related to 
the Rev. Barnabas Shaw, was selected as chaplain to the 
London or Sephton party. 

The selection was a happy one. The Rev. W. Shaw was 
then a young man, possessed vigorous health, and took a deep 
interest in the affairs of the settlers. He proved to be an able 
preacher, a devoted pastor, and a sagacious administrator. 
He was dignified, without being austere ; genial, yet never 
frivolous. In later years the colonists learned to trust him as 
one who recognised and advocated their just claims to pro- 
tection. The natives, when they knew him, loved him as 
a missionary who had their best interests at heart. Successive 
governors consulted him as one on whose sound judgment and 
accurate knowledge they could always rely. 

The emigrants arrived in Algoa Bay in April, 1820. The 
low sand hills on which grew a few stunted bushes, the salt 
marshes covered with short wiry grass, were disappointing to 
eyes fresh from looking on the rich green pastures of England. 
Fort. Frederick and four small houses were then the rudiments 
of a town which has grown to be the chief commercial port of 
Cape Colony. 

Large surf-boats conveyed the emigrants from the ships to 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



the shore, where tents had been erected for their accommodation. 
Numerous waggons were in readiness to carry them to their 
destination, and then commenced the journey which to English 
minds must have been full of wonder. The long spans of oxen 
that drew the heavy waggons slowly over the veld, the 
cracking of the huge whips of the drivers, the hoarse cries to 
the oxen in a strange speech, the impish-looking fore-loupers 
or leaders, the open country without fence or road, the crimson 
aloes on the hill-sides, the elephants that roamed the Addo 
Bush, the quaggas that galloped wildly over the plains, the 


{From a painting in the possession of Miss Ayliff. ) 

baboons that barked defiance from the rocks — all was strange, 
wonderful, and exciting. 

After a journey of loo miles, the scenes of their future homes 
were reached. The settlers to whom Mr. Shaw was chaplain 
had their allotments in the beautiful valley of the Assagai 
River, where Salem now stands. Mr. Shaw, in describing 
their arrival, wrote : * We took our boxes out of the waggon 
and placed them on the ground. The driver bade us " goeden 
dag," cracked his whip, and drove away, leaving us to our 
reflections. My wife sat down on one box and I on another. 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 


The beautiful blue sky was above us and the green grass 
beneath our feet. We looked at each other for a few minutes 
and exchanged a few sentences. But it was no time for 
sentiment, and we were soon engaged in pitching our tent and 
removing into it our trunks and bedding. All the other settlers 
were similarly occupied, and in a short time the extensive 
Valley of the Assagai presented a lively and picturesque 
appearance.* This was the home of the Sephton party. 

The Rev. H. H. Dug more, who was then ten years of age, 
has described in his usual graphic manner the places where 
the several parties were located. * Bailie's party made their 
way to the mouth of the Fish River, where it was said the 
Head hoped to found a seaport town. The Duke of Newcastle's 
proteges from Nottingham took possession of the beautiful 
Vale of Clumber, naming it after one of their patron's 
residences. Wilson's party settled between the plains of 
Waai-plaatz and the Kowie bush, right across the path of the 
elephants, some of which they tried to shoot with fowling- 
pieces.* These, with Sephton's party, formed the four large 
groups of settlers. The smaller ones filled up the intervening 
spaces, from Seven Fountains in the west to Kleinemonde in 
the east, and from Grahamstown to the sea. Each party was 
guided to its allotment by Colonel Cuyler, the Landdrost of 
Uitenhage, who, as he bade them good-bye, significantly said : 
* Gentlemen, when you go out to plough, never leave your 
guns at home.' The blackened gables of deserted Dutch 
homesteads which the emigrants had passed on their journey 
must have warned them that pioneer farming, with heathen 
savages not far away, would not be the Arcadian pursuit they 
had been led to expect. 

Tents were the first dwellings of the settlers, but they were 
soon superseded by * wattle and daub ' huts of a very primitive 
form. * Many a father and son, with axe on shoulder, ranged 
the wooded kloofs in search of door-posts and rafters ; and 
many a mother and daughter cut wattles and thatch nearer 
home for walls and roof; ay, and many a back ached under 
successive loads, borne toilsomely from tangled thicket and 
rushy swamp. Stone and brick were among the visions of an 
advanced order of things belonging to the future.* Mr. Shaw's 
first dwelling was a single room, 12 feet square, made of twigs 
plastered with mud; he and his wife slept above the rafters 
and under the unlined thatch. 

The majority of the settlers had come from English towns 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


and knew little of farming. * Some ^wed carrot-seed at the 
bottom of trenches two spades deep, filling up the trenches 
with soil as soon as it was done. The remark of one who saw 
the process was : ** It will come up most likely in England 
about the same time it does here." In another case, a man 
wishing to get some mealies (maize) for seed, applied to his 
neighbour who had obtained a supply ; but found he had 
planted the whole cob without knocking off the grain. A third 
person planted out a lot of young onions, roots upwards. The 
results of these blunders rather disgusted some of the cockney 
farmers, as the wags called them.* At best, farming was 
carried on under difficulties. The driving of untrained oxen, 
the use of the long, unwieldy whip, the breaking up of the 
hard veldt, ail under a semi-tropical sun, made agricultural 
pursuits laborious and exhausting. 

Then one trouble followed another. Rust destroyed the 
wheat crops as they were shooting into ear. A severe drought 
in 1 82 1 impoverished and all but ruined the struggling settlers. 
The drought was followed by a great flood, which washed 
away their crops and destroyed their dwellings. One man 
inquired of his neighbour * if he had seen anything of his house 
passing that way.' But misfortunes fell lightly on merry 

The Government came to their assistance with liberal rations 
of meat and meal, which, distributed at headquarters, had to 
be conveyed twenty or thirty miles in days when the settlers 
owned no waggons, and when the roads were little more than 
footpaths. Much of the food was carried home laboriously on 
back or shoulder. To a mechanic, fresh from an English town, 
it was no easy task to drive ten or fifteen ration sheep from 
Grahamstown to Bathurst over hill and dale. A rustling sound 
in the bush, perhaps a hare startled from its lair, and the sheep 
scattered, two in one direction, three in another, and the rest 
anywhere. A swift pursuit through the bush, in which face 
was scratched and clothes were torn, only made the errant 
sheep flee the swifter. Driven to desperation, the driver at 
length exclaimed, * Dead or alive, I'll secure one of you at any 
rate,' and a discharge from his fowling-piece stretched a sheep 
on the ground. He was still miles away from home, but he 
carried his load the whole distance. That was the only sheep 
of the lot that reached its intended destination. The wild dogs, 
wolves, and jackals got all the rest. 

There was no grocery or drapery store in the district, and 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


many were the devices adopted to supply some of the luxuries, 
or, as we should consider them, the necessaries of life. The 
leaves of a Cape shrub did service for tea. Roasted barley 
formed a substitute for coffee, and honey out of the rock sup- 
plied the absence of sugar. Dried potato- tops were the nearest 
approach to tobacco that the lovers of the weed could procure. 
Hats were manufactured from indigenous straw ; veldschoens 
or shoes were made from hides slightly tanned ; and sheepskin 
garments replaced worn-out tweeds and broadcloth. Life was 
rough, but it had its compensations. Meat was plentiful and 
cheap. The utmost freedom was enjoyed, and there were no 
narrow roads with boards announcing * Trespassers will be 
prosecuted.' The veldt and bush abounded with game, and in 
pinching times a man could sally forth with his gun, shoot his 
breakfast, and then carry it home and cook it. The climate 
was healthy — so healthy, in fact, that the doctors who had ac- 
companied the emigrants from England retired in disgust, as 
there was no request for their services. 

Many of the emigrants were skilled artizans, and found that 
they could more profitably employ themselves at their trades. 
Lord Charles Somerset had proclaimed Grahamstown the 
capital of the district, and there was a need for mechanics of 
all kinds for the purpose of erecting houses and barracks. 
Stores and shops were required to supply the troops and the " 
population with food and clothing. There sprang up a demand 
for masons and carpenters, for smiths and painters, at high 
wages ; and those who were familiar with these crafts quitted 
farming and settled in town. Other settlers migrated to the 
north-eastern border, where they became large sheep-farmers, 
for the introduction of merino had made wool-growing a most 
profitable pursuit. Some travelled as hawkers, first with pack 
on back, and as they gained money with tented ox-waggon, 
and developed into wealthy merchants. Others betook them- 
selves to elephant hunting, for a shot might secure a pair of 
tusks worth £i{o. But whatever the pursuit was, the energy, 
the skill, and the moral worth of the British settlers of 1820 
laid the foundation of the subsequent prosperity of the eastern 
districts of Cape Colony. 

Digitized by >tr€HOQl€ 


THE Sephton party named their new home Salem, for 
their hope was that the fair valley of the Assagai 
would never again be disturbed by war. Not far from 
the river stood a * wattle and daub * house, put up by a 
Dutch farmer, but which he had deserted when the Ama-Xosa 
swept through the district. It was about 60 feet long, 12 feet 
broad, and had an open thatched roof. This frail building 
became for a time the centre of the religious and political life 
of the settlement. It was the Town Hall, where the people 
met and discussed public questions. It served as a commis- 
sariat store, from which rations of meat and meal were dis- 
tributed. One end was cut off by a curtain, and was used as 
a hospital. On Sunday, after it had been cleaned and swept, it 
was employed for public worship. 

The furnishing of this building for the services was extremely 
scanty. For a pulpit a writing-desk was placed on the top of 
a flour barrel, the preacher stood on an empty ammunition 
case, the people brought their own stools or chairs, and with 
this simple arrangement the congregation assembled. But if 
the service was plain, the sermons were rich in spiritual instruc- 
tion, for Mr. Shaw w^s a close student of the fifty volumes of 
Wesley's Christian Library, and his preaching was enriched 
by his acquaintance with the best Puritan writers. The pro- 
visions stored in the building attracted rats, and the rats were 
hunted by snakes. On one occasion Mr. Shaw was addressing 
the congregation when someone exclaimed : * Oh, sir, there is 
a puff adder between your feet!' Looking down, Mr. Shaw 
saw one of the most venomous of African reptiles lying on the 
ground. He quietly stepped aside, and the deadly intruder 
was quickly despatched. 

Mr. Shaw understood his commission in no narrow sense. 
He was the appointed chaplain of the Sephton party, but he 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 



was no hireling, doing cold duty for formal pay. * I belong to 
a sect,* he said, but he loved to add : * I never had a sectarian 
heart/ His sympathies went forth to all his countrymen. The 
various parties of settlers were scattered over an area of 1,500 
square miles, in the valleys of the Assagai, Kasouga, Kariega, 
and Kowie Rivers. He was not officially responsible for their 
spiritual welfare, but, knowing they were without public services 
and in danger of lapsing into irreligion, he began to visit the 
various encampments. This was a work of no small difficulty. 
There were no roads, no bridges across the streams, and no 
map of the district. He had to trust to vague directions from 
wandering Hottentots, as they pointed to this hill or the other 
valley. In his earliest journeys, sometimes on foot and some- 
times on horseback, he often missed his way, and occasionally 
had to sleep in the forest, which at 
that time was infested with ferocious 
animals. When darkness fell on the 
landscape the deep roar of the lion, the 
scream of the leopard, and the hideous 
laugh of the hyena were borne on the 
night air. Mr. Shaw sought security, 
and such repose as could be obtained, 
by climbing a tree, and seating himself 
among its branches. At other times, 
at the close of a fatiguing walk over 
pathless hills, and after wading through 
unbridged rivers, he lay on the ground 
in a settler's tent, or half-finished hut, 
without doors or windows, and wrapped 
in a blanket, enjoyed the deep, sweet 
sleep of a labouring man. As may be 

imagined, Mr. Shaw had little time for study, and most of his 
sermons were made when proceeding from one encampment to 

These toilsome journeys, however, bore rich fruit. Episco- 
palians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists — 
nearly all without pastoral care — welcomed him as heartily as 
did his own people. They greeted him with a warm clasp of 
the hand, and eyes often dim with tears, for they felt grateful 
to the man who came to their rude settlements to bring to 
them the * unsearchable riches of Christ.' The services were 
held under the shade of a wide-spreading tree or the shadow 
of a rock. Mr. Shaw avoided all controversy, and preached 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



the great essentials of the. Christian faith. To men and women 
pioneering in a strange land, and for whom no Sabbath bell 
rang,. these services were doubly refreshing. With many 
expressions of gratitude, and requests for future visits, they 
bade him good-bye, and, with wistful eyes, watched him dis- 
appear over the hill. 

Mr. Shaw sought out and gathered round him a noble band 
of lay assistants, or the spiritual needs of the people could not 
have been supplied. Amongst these helpers were Messrs. 
Gates and Roberts, of Salem ; Richard Walker, of Port Francis ; 
John AylifF, of Wilson's party ; William Shepstone, of the New 
Bristol location ; William Pike, of Clumber ; Messrs. Aldham, 
Bonnin, Sargeant, Booth, Attwell, and many others who fed 
and fanned the flame of piety. * These plain preachers of a 
plain Gospel went from location to location, taking shady trees 
or sheltering wood side as their standing-places, and gathered 
around them little companies, seated on the grass, listening 
attentively, and thankful to find themselves remembered and 
cared for in reference to their highest of all interests.' Messrs. 
AylifF and Shepstone, at a later date, entered the ranks of the 
ordained ministry, and became distinguished missionaries. 
Richard Walker rendered scarcely less valuable service as an 
assistant-missionary on several stations. 

Gpposition was overruled in one instance * for the furtherance 
of the Gospel.' Dr. Calton, the head of the Nottingham party, 
was a determined opponent of Methodism, and attempted to pre- 
vent any of its adherents being in his vessel, the A Ihany, Great 
was his vexation to find, when at sea, that at least one Wesleyan, 
Mr. Pike, was on board, and that he was holding meetings for 
prayer. Dr. Calton threatened the offender that unless he 
kept his religion to himself he would have no allotment of land 
on his arrival in Cape Colony. Strange to say. Dr. Calton 
died in Algoa Bay. After the settlement of the party at 
Clumber, Mr. Pike regularly held services in the bush, close 
to his tent ; and his simple piety and manifest sincerity having 
won the esteem of his fellow settlers, they elected him head of 
the party. Clumber became^ a centre of spiritual influence, 
and has so continued to this day. The people have retained 
not a little of the quaint simplicity and religious fervour of 
English rural Methodism when at its best. 

The most distant camp from Salem was that of Bailie's 
party, near the mouth of the Fish River, who were too far 
away for Mr, Shaw to visit the^i. Mr, Bailie was a generous 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


and brave man, and, thirty years later, lost his life on the 
Natal coast, whilst attempting to save some shipwrecked per- 
sons. One of his sons, Charles, fell into a state of deep depres- 
sion on account of his sins. The father, when on a visit to 
Bathurst, found a volume of the Methodist Magazine, and, on 
opening it, read a graphic account of the wreck of the Grosvenor. 
* This will interest Charles,* he said, and he took the book 
home. Charles discovered in the volume the way of salvation 
by faith in Christ, and soon rejoiced in the forgiveness of sins. 
He told his brother John, who in a short time shared his happi- 
ness. The father, to whom conversion was a mystery, deeply 
lamented the change, saying : * Both my sons are lost to me.* 
In the war of 1834 Charles was placed in command of a num- 
ber of native volunteers, and won the respect and esteem of 
Colonel Harry Smith. Whilst patrolling in the Amatolas he 
was surrounded by a large body of Kafirs, and he and all his 
men were slain. His body was subsequently recovered, and 
in his belt was found his Bible, which was sent to his widow. 
John, his brother, vacated a comfortable post in the Civil 
Service, and, as we have seen, entered the Wesleyan ministry, 
commencing mission work at Lilyfontein. For many years he 
laboured with much success in Namaqualand and the Cape, and 
two of his daughters married ministers of the Dutch Reformed 
Church — the Revs. Charles Murray and A. LuckhofF. 

As the settlers rose to circumstances of greater comfort they 
erected, at considerable cost and labour, a number of neat, 
substantial places of worship. Clumber church was built on 
a green knoll overlooking a picturesque valley. At Trapp*s 
Valley and at Bathurst the churches were placed amid lovely 
park-like scenery. At Port Francis, now Port Alfred, the 
church stood among dark woods and in sight of the sea At 
Collingham, Green Fountain, Manley's Flats, and Seven 
Fountains, the churches were built near perennial springs. 
And thus Salem became the mother of churches, which were 
continually being increased in number as the people spread on 
every side. 

The * anniversaries * of these plain but sacred buildings were 
held with each recurring year, linking the settlers with scenes 
in the homeland. On the day appointed the people came from 
far and near. Some arrived in carts drawn by oxen, some on 
sledges, and others on horseback, or on the backs of oxen, and 
not a few on foot. What hearty greetings, that oft trembled 
between a laugh and a tear I What reminiscences of the * Old 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Country* were awakened in many a breast! Put the bell 
rings, and soon the little church is crowded to the door. Songs 
of praise in a strange land ascend to God from grateful hearts. 
The sermon, preached for years by Mr. Shaw, refreshes and 
strengthens the hearers. The service ended, the people issue 
forth into the sunshine ; the table is spread in Nature's dining 
hall, under the shade of a wide-spreading tree, and the guests 
from a distance are treated with generous hospitality.. The 
meal over, and, whilst the children join in mirthful games, 
fathers and mothers, seated on the grass, talk long of old times 
and old deeds in the Fatherland, of trials and successes in the 
new home, until the lengthening shadows cast by the setting 
sun remind them it is time to disperse. From scenes like 
these the people went home, carrying away memories which 
cheered their solitude for many months. 

Fifty years later the Rev. H. H. Dugmore recorded his 
pleasant recollections of the settlers who worshipped in these 
infant churches in the days of his early ministry. * Old names 
and scenes rise before me as I look back on those times — Cook, 
Penny, Bonnin, and Lee, in connection with Reed Fountain. 
From thence I had to be ferried across the mouth of the Kowie 
by the old ferryman, Joseph King, my horse swimming behind 
me, to keep my Port Francis appointment, where the names of 
GilfiUan and Thornhill recur. Then, further eastward, was 
Green Fountain, where Mrs. James's far-famed cheese was 
made, and where resided the venerable head of the Wedder- 
burn family. At James's party chapel there gathered the 
Jameses, the Ushers, the Haywards, the Randells, and the 
feartletts. At Manley's Flat, much nearer home, I have a 
grateful recollection of the hospitality of the kind Major 
Bagott and his warm-hearted lady. Still nearer Grahamstown 
was the congregation at Collingham, where lived the Wallaces, 
the Marshalls, the Honeys, and the Wentworths. 

* But the chief centre of evangelical interest and effort in 
those days, so far as Lower Albany was concerned, was 
Clumber, the location of the Nottingham party. The chapel 
stood on a natural mound at the brook side, in the centre of a 
beautiful wooded valley. This spot, on a Sunday morning, 
between ten and eleven o'clock, presented a very animated 
picture. The days of buggies and spring carts had not yet 
arrived, but the young settlers of both sexes belonged to the 
equestrian order. On Sunday morning, as service time drew 
near, little troops of riders might be seen coming into sight 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


from all sides. The Cawoods from Kafir Drift, and the Moun- 
ceys, and Cockcrofts, and Bentleys, from Harewood — these 
came from the greatest distance. From Wilson's party came 
the Purdons, headed by the stately old soldier who had fought 
for King George in the wars of the last century. Bathurst 
sent in a troop of Hartleys from the opposite direction. The 
half-way bush contributed the Goldswains, the Tarrs, and the 
Elliotts, a double family — the shrewd, thrifty William, and the 
mild, simple-hearted Mark, ever-ready for devotional exercises 
with his fellow Christians. From the Lushington Valley direc- 
tion came the Timms. Following the course of the chapel brook 
came the Gradwells, the Foxcrofts, the Peels, the Hulleys, the 
Pikes, and the Goldings ; Lemon Valley sent the Brents, the 
Birts, the Newths (a couple of them old man-of-war's men, who 
could talk of Nelson's sea victories), the Bradfields, the Hodg- 
kinsons, and Joshua Davis, the old cavalry soldier, who was at 
home on the subject of the Peninsular War, and could tell of 
the horses he rode at the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, and whose 
wife was one of the most devoted Christians in the neighbour- 
hood. The very features of the men stand up before me as in 
a mirror. Young Thomas Hartley, scrupulously careful in 
dress and polite in manners ; the graver brother, William, in 
after-years school - superintendent, class leader, and local 
preacher ; and " Gentleman Cawood," as James was called, 
from his appearance and manners. All these names, so far as 
I know, are borne by their great grandchildren, who have 
spread them far and wide, and have made the "little one 
become a thousand."* 

Mr. Shaw was fully employed. * I ride,' he said, * every 
other week upwards of one hundred and thirty miles, and 
preach eight times during my round, independent of my labours 
at home on the Sabbath, and occasional labours in other 
places ; but, after all, I cannot go to many who are saying : 
" Come and help us." I desire to go to the frontier, where 
there are upwards of a thousand British soldiers without any 
chaplain ; I am anxious to visit Somerset, and to preach regu- 
larly on the Sabbath at Grahamstown, and some other places; 
but I can only be in one place at a time.' 

Grahamstown was yet little more than a garrison town. In 
addition to the European troops, there was a Hottentot 
regiment, 500 strong, with a large following of women and 
children, most of whom were heathen. The trading popula- 
tion was increasing. For this mixed community there was 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


neither church nor minister of any denomination, not even a 
chaplain for the troops. The absence of Christian teaching 
bore its usual bitter fruit. One who wrote at the time from 
personal observation, said : * All classes at Grahamstown are 
sunk — who can marvel ? — very low in drunkenness, lewdness, 
and many other deadly sins.' 

On Christmas Day, 1820, Mr. Shaw rode over from Salem 
in a heavy rain, determined, full- handed as he was, that if the 
door was opened for the preaching of the Gospel he would 
not spare himself. He found two non-commissioned officers. 
Sergeants- Major Price and Lucas, who had been led to Christ 
by Sergeant Kendrick at Capetown, and as the latter was 
building a house for himself, he arranged for one large room in 
it, which he offered to Mr. Shaw for public worship. How 
much Methodism owes to soldiers! Captain Webb assisted 
to introduce Methodism into North America; John Haime, 
who fought at Dettingen and Fontenoy, was one of John 
Wesley's assistants, and a man of mark. The first Methodists 
in Gibraltar were soldiers, five of whom were tried by court- 
martial for holding services among the garrison, and were 
sentenced to receive 500 lashes each. Sergeant Kendrick laid 
the foundation of the Methodist Church in South ^Africa, and 
Sergeants Lucas and Price were the first to welcome the 
Wesleyan minister to Grahamstown. The Methodist Church 
has in recent years devoted increasing attention to the spiritual 
wants of the army, but she is only repaying a debt. Methodist 
soldiers have carried the influence of their church all over the 

Sergeant Lucas's room, near Fort England, was speedily 
crowded to excess, and in a few months the congregation 
removed to a disused mess-room of the Royal African Corps, 
in African Street. This, building was soon afterwards sold, 
and the people then worshipped in a carpenter's, shop on 
Settlers' Hill, and when this proved too small, they assembled 
in an Odd Fellows' Lodge. 

Migratory habits suit swallows, but seldom benefit churches. 
The erection of a Wesleyan chapel in Grahamstown became 
of supreme importance. The undertaking was no light "one. 
Money was scarce, and the inhabitants were poor. But what- 
ever the difficulty, Mr. Shaw resolved to act. He purchased 
a plot of ground in the best place he could find, for * there were 
not many willing to sell, who were able to give a legal title to 
their property.' Wh^n thQ fgund^itioo stonQ W9.s laid, qu 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


December 5, 1821, Mr. Shaw had half a crown in his pocket, 
and a few promises of help. Frequently, as the structure pro- 
gressed, in order to meet the demands of the builder, he had to 
deprive himself and his family of some of the necessaries of 
life. * Thank God,' he exclaimed, * we never lacked meat and 
milk.* The church cost ;^5oo, and when it was opened, in 1823, 
half the amount had been obtained, chiefly in small gifts from 
the soldiers. Mr. Shaw preached in the morning, and as he 
sat in the pulpit and looked upon a congregation of Europeans 
and coloured persons, worshipping together in the first church 
erected in Albany, and which had entailed * no common pains 
and perplexity,' his heart overflowed with deep thankfulness to 
God. The Rev. William Threlfall, whose missionary career 
was to terminate so tragically in Namaqualand, preached in 
the evening. 

The * Yellow Chapel,' as it was called, was situated in 
Chapel Street, a narrow thoroughfare, running from High 
Street to Market Square, and was for years the spiritual home 
of Grahamstown Methodism. For a time it was lent to the 
Anglicans, who held services in it twice every Sabbath. The 
Wesleyans assembled at 10.30 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6.30 p.m. ; and 
the Episcopalians at 9 a.m., and 2 p.m. When the cathedral 
was built, the Anglicans returned the kindness by granting its 
use for the annual sermon on Settlers' Day. The friendship 
of those days has, alas! vanished before the hauteur of the 
modern clergyman, with his ecclesiastical exclusiveness. How- 
ever, as years passed, the Divine blessing richly rested on the 
Methodist services in Grahamstown, and the Yellow Chapel, 
once in such request, becoming too small, was vacated for 
larger buildings, and though still standing in its original form, 
is now in its obscurity used as a grocer's warehouse. 

At Salem a church was erected, for * the people had a mind 
to work.' Some felled yellow-wood trees, and sawed them 
into boards and scantling; some made the walls of earth 
pounded hard, whilst others cut rushes for thatching. This 
building stood for ten years, when it was pulled down to make 
room for a more ornate and commodious structure. 

The position of the settlers in relation to education was very 
unfavourable in those early years. Day-schools were, as a 
rule, impossible. Sunday-schools were begun, as circum- 
stances admitted, in connection with the small congregations 
that assembled in the country chapels, and these, in many 
iostancQs, suppliecj the only meatus of instruction within the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


reach of the children. The only public school was at Salem, 
under the care of Mr. W. H. Matthews, and here not a few 
of the men who have since filled important public situa- 
tions received their education. For nearly half a century 
Mr. Matthews was the teacher, magistrate, doctor, counsellor, 
and universal referee for all the country round, and he left 
a name that is still cherished with honour. 

Taking a retrospect of what had been accomplished, Mr. 
Shaw became unwontedly exultant. * Desert and solitary 
places have been peopled by a multitude of men to make room 
for whom even the beasts of the field have retreated from their 
ancient haunts; houses have arisen and villages sprung into 
existence as by magic ; hundreds of acres of land which had 
hitherto lain untilled have been disturbed by the plough, and 
the clods torn to pieces by the harrow ; but, what is better 
than all, many of these hills and dales which echoed with no 
other music than the dreary screams of the jackal, the harsh 
croaking of the frog, or the dissonant notes of the raven, now 
resound with the praises of the Saviour.* 

The Wesleyan Missionary Committee in London nobly 
responded to the repeated appeals of the colonists for ministers, 
and the Revs. W. Threlfall, S. Young, and S. Kay were among 
the earliest arrivals. The Revs. J. Edwards, W. H. Boyce, 
S. Palmer, J. Cameron, W. J. Shrewsbury, G. H. Green, 
J. Archbell, W. H. Garner, W. J. Davis, and R. Giddy, 
followed at intervals. The area of missionary operations 
extended until it touched the borders of Natal and Basutoland. 
Up to the year 1840 the Methodist Church was almost the 
only one which provided for the spiritual wants of the colonists 
in the Eastern Province and of large numbers of natives in 
Kafirland. The Rev. H. H. Dugmore, in his * Reminiscences 
of an Albany Settler,* of which use has been made in this and 
the preceding chapters, wrote : * Let it not be supposed that in 
this enumeration there is any wish to ignore what has been 
done by other denominations. Much has been done by various 
branches of the Church Catholic, Roman and Anglican, 
Episcopalian and Nonconformist; but their exertions belong 
to a later period of colonial history. For years the Wesleyans 
stood virtually alone in the work of preaching the Gospel 
among the rural population. Zealously and energetically have 
other churches laboured since ; but all this leaves the honour 
of priority where the God of providence saw fit to place it.* 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


GRAHAMSTOWN is the oldest, and for many years was 
the largest, town in the eastern districts. Sometimes 
in ironical allusion to the religiousness of its inhabitants, 
it was called * The City of the Saints ' ; but generally 
it was known as *The City of the Settlers.' Many of the 
immigrants of 1820 had settled there, and the majority were 
adherents of the Methodist Church. Of these persons, the 
Rev. W. B. Boyce wrote in the following racy manner : * A 
more truly respectable and worthy community than these first 
settlers in Albany never existed. There was a marked 
originality about almost every individual colonist. Nobody 
imitated anybody, for every man was, as a settler, as good as 
another (or a Httle better) in his own opinion — an opinion, 
however, which was never offensively put forth — for the 
settlers were in feehng gentle and unobtrusive. Shovelled into 
a wilderness and left to make their own way, these patriarchs 
of Albany were a peculiar people. Show and style were things 
unknown ; there was no pretence as to appearances. Business 
claims were not by any means absorbing. We were not too 
busy to be happy. We could spare time occasionally for rest 
and recreation. The storekeepsrs would shut up for a day to 
go to a chapel opening, an anniversary, or missionary meeting, 
or picnic. This was not idleness, but the result of the easy 
position in which, with no artificial wants and a rough plenty, 
the majority were almost without cares. Religiously and 
morally, the settlers were for the most part a ** godly seed." 
Whether Churchmen, or Methodists, or Independents, or 
Baptists, they lived in peace. No angry controversy on 
religious topics arose among them. I cannot but look back to 
this period as the golden age of the Albany Colony.' 

*I am obliged,' continues Mr. Boyce, *to confess that we 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Methodists were, on the whole, a plebeian set. Except an 
editor and printer, and a few wholesale storekeepers who, by 
general consent were termed merchants, the rest of us were 
retail storekeepers and artizans. In the country we were small 
farmers and graziers. In those days we made no pretensions 
to the gentility which is supposed to be connected with freedom 
from labour, for we all had to work for our living. None of us 
were ashamed of this or of our useful occupations, however 
lowly they might be. Our successors and descendants need 
not blush for us, for we made the colony what it is.' 

At Grahamstown the Wesleyans still worshipped in the 
* Yellow Chapel,* and within its homely walls were heard the 
Revs. S. Kay, J. AylifF, W. J. Shrewsbury, John Davis, junior, 
and William Shaw, who returned from Kaffraria to Grahams- 
town in the year 1829. On several occasions, notably in 1822, 
1830, and 1 83 1, there were revivals of religion. Many of the 
young men who gave themselves to the Lord in those times of 
spiritual quickening became lay preachers, and some entered 
the ranks of the ministry. The Rev. T. Jenkins, afterwards 
the apostle to the Pondos ; the Rev. Jeremiah Hartley, who 
died of brain fever in Bechuanaland brought on by exposure 
to the sun while preaching in the open air ; the Rev. John 
Bailie, who left the ease of the Civil Service to pursue laborious 
mission work in Great Namaqualand ; the Rev. J. P. Bertram, 
who did good service amongst the Tembus at Wittebergen and 
at Lesseyton ; the Rev. R.. Haddy, remarkable for his self- 
taught scholarly attainments ; the Rev. J. T. Daniel, who 
laboured for years among the Baralongs ; and, at a later date, 
the Rev. C. White, a saintly indefatigable worker ; and the 
Rev. W. Sargeant, who through a long life was a diligent 
student. All these men had few educational advantages ; they • 
never received any collegiate training, and in their day books 
were few and costly. Their labours were severe, and often 
they had to build the church before they could preach in it, and 
to erect a house before they could live in it ; yet by diligence 
and the prayerful consecration of their mental powers to God 
and His service, they became pioneers, and pastors, and 
preachers, of whom any church may be devoutly proud. 

The * Yellow ChapeP became too small for the increasing 
congregation, though the Congregationalists and Baptists had 
migrated to churches of their own. It was resolved to erect 
a large church in a more eligible position in High Street at 
a cost of ;^3,ooo. The new structure was called * Wesley 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Chapel/ It was opened in December, 1 83 1 , and accommodated 
800 persons. Mr. Shaw thought it was *very handsome and 
substantial*; but the Rev. W. J. Shrewsbury who conducted 
one of the opening services, said, in his enthusiasm : * It is an 
elegant building, the best chapel in the whole continent/ 
Undoubtedly, both in respect of appearance and situation, it 
was a great improvement on the * Yellow Chapel ' in Chapel 
Street, which was handed over to the Fingos, and was for 
years used by them for public worship. 

Wesley Chapel had its baptism of Divine blessing in 1837. 
For weeks previously a prayer-meeting was held at five o'clock 
in the morning. The habits of the people were simple, and 
early rising was more common than now. Then came the 
Pentecostal Sabbath, when the congregation was swept, as it 
were, to its knees, and sought the Lord for salvation. The 
Rev. W. Shaw was absent, visiting the stations in the 
Transkei ; but Mrs. Shaw wrote : * Such a blessed revival of 
religion we never expected to see. The Lord is saving sinners 
by whole families. Scoffers have been soundly converted. 
The whole town is astonished. Our dear brethren Cameron 
and Green are labouring in season and out of season, and the 
Lord is crowning their efforts with success. There are no 
jarring strings.' In six weeks 300 persons, mostly young men 
and women, were added to the church. Why did the work 
cease? It is difficult to say. Perhaps God's people are too 
easily contented. Satisfied with the success attained, their 
prayers lose grip and force, and, like Joash, they strike three 
times when they should have stricken six. Conversions are 
not intended to be curiosities seen at rare intervals, and 
startling a drowsy church into the recognition of a forgotten 
hope. Conversions should be looked for, prayed for, as 
absolutely necessary to the existence of a church. 

Though not chronologically accurate, in the year 1844 the 
semi-jubilee of the arrival of the settlers was held. April 10, 
the anniversary of the day on which they landed in Algoa Bay, 
was observed in Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Bathurst, and 
other places with great rejoicings. Morning services were 
held in the various places of worship, followed by discharges 
of cannon and musketry ; and in the evening banquets, at which 
glowing speeches were delivered on the wonderful history of 
the previous twenty-four years. At Grahamstown the sermon 
was preached in the cathedral by the Rev. W. Shaw, by per- 
mission of the Rev. J. Heavyside, the Rector, and 1,400 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


persons crammed the cathedral in every part, who, with few 
exceptions, were either settlers or their descendants. 

The sermon was largely historical. Mr. Shaw described in 
picturesque language their arrival at the several settlements, 
the white tents amid the foliage of the copse and brushwood, 
the felling of the trees, the erection of the first * wattle and daub ' 
houses, the first furrow made by the plough in the virgin soil. 
He spoke of the blight that year after year fell on their crops, 
and how these failures had turned many of the settlers from 
farming, and * made Albany a commercial settlement.' In 
not a few cases the pedlar's pack had been taken up, and had 
led to the well-stocked trader's waggon, and that in turn to 
busy warehouse. From Albany, the settlers had spread over 
the divisions of Uitenhage, Somerset, Cradock, even as far as 
GraafF Reinet and Colesberg, and had given an impetus to 
farming in the principal districts of the Eastern Province. 
Their fixed property could not be valued at less than /i, 000,000 
sterling. Their imports for the previous year had amounted 
to ;^i35,9i9, and their exports of wool, hides, etc., tO;^i32,975. 
This trade, by offering employment to British capital, had 
amply repaid the Mother Country for the expenditure of ^50,000 
in establishing the settlement. Nor had the settlers been in- 
different to the claims of religion. During the previous twenty 
years they had built five Episcopal, four Congregational, one 
Baptist, one Roman Catholic, and eighteen Wesleyan churches 
— in all twenty-nine substantial places of worship. Missions had 
also been extended 300 miles into Kafirland, and seven settlers, 
or sons of settlers, were engaged as missionaries, and twelve 
others as catechists and teachers. Finally, with not a little 
impressiveness, he anticipated the time when British rule in 
South Africa would extend from the Cape to the tropic of 
Capricorn, and all races of men, white and black, would enjoy 
peace and prosperity. Alas ! the vision is only in part fulfilled. 

In fourteen years the congregation outgrew the accommoda- 
tion of Wesley Chapel, and in 1845 it was determined to erect 
a larger church as a permanent memorial to the glory of God, 
who had so richly blessed the settlers since their arrival in the 
country. When this decision was made public, contributions 
flowed in from all parts of the Eastern Province, and from 
British settlers in other religious communities. A site almost 
opposite to Wesley Chapel was purchased for ;^2,ooo, and the 
foundation-stone of * Commemoration Church ' was laid by 
Mrs. Shaw on April 10, the anniversary of the landing of the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



settlers twenty-five years before. The walls had not risen 
many feet when the War of the Axe broke out, and the work 
was stopped. Grahamstown was in a state of siege, the streets 
were barricaded, the windows were boarded up. Ministers 
went to their country appointments with armed escorts. All 
available men were required either to repel the invaders or to 
protect the country from further inroads. Provisions and 
labour rose to unusually high rates, so for four years the walls 


» 1 i 






' ^^^H 

i 1 

I^SIBI^Xl _l^^I 


^& f ' "* * ^--#* '' 




F » 




y B 


Uflw ^■^'^ 


^ '■nH 




I '.d0V.«4^H^H 


i^^. V . 


of the church were left untouched. When the war was over 
the building was proceeded with, but as no workmen could 
venture into the forests to cut timber the roof was ordered from 
London. The church was completed and dedicated to the 
worship of God on November 24, 1850, Mr. Shaw preaching 
the first sermon in it on * Our holy and beautiful house.' The 
collection amounted to £is7j a large amount in those days. 
The total cost was ;^io,ooo. The Government had made 
large financial grants towards the support of the clergy of the 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Grahamstown, and 
had defrayed nearly the entire cost of St. George's Church. 
Mr. Shaw thought he was justified in appealing to the Legis- 
lature for assistance, and after a little delay Parliament voted 
;^i,ooo towards the cost of the building. Architectural taste 
has greatly improved during the last half century, and the 
modern critic can easily detect in Commemoration Church 
faults of style and construction, but at the time it was erected 
it was one of the handsomest ecclesiastical structures in Cape 
Colony, and was a noble monument of the gratitude and liber- 
ality of the settlers. 

Wesley Chapel passed through several changes. It was for 
a time used by the native congregation, but when they vacated 
it for a church situated nearer to their dwellings, on the loca- 
tion given by Sir George Grey, it was devoted to educational 
purposes. An embryo college was formed, classes for higher 
education were conducted by able teachers — the Rev. P. Smailes 
and Mr. P. McOwen — but after a struggle with increasing debt 
the college was closed, and the guarantors suffered considerable 
loss. Subsequently it was repaired and beautified, and re- 
named * Shaw Hall.' Within the building large day and 
Sabbath schools are now conducted, and church meetings are 
occasionally held. 

In the year 1856 the Rev. W. Shaw, on account of failing 
health, finally left the colony. For thirty-six years he had 
devoted himself not only to the building up of the Methodist 
Church in South Africa, but to the general welfare of the 
Eastern Province. Perhaps his highest ambition was to be 
remembered as the Chaplain of the British settlers. He lived 
to see formed fifty-one circuits grouped into three districts. 
He was a plain, practical preacher, and an unexampled pastor ; 
and once, looking down on Grahamstown from a neighbouring 
hill, he said : * There is not a house in that town in which I 
have not had the opportunity of offering prayer.' * What 
Richard Baxter was to Kidderminster, William Shaw was to 
Grahamstown.' His knowledge of men and affairs, and his 
calm judgment, made him a wise and trusted counsellor. 
* He had the sagacity of the statesman, without the craft of 
the diplomatist.' Military commanders sought his advice. 
Governor after Governor acknowledged the assistance he had 
rendered to them in times of trouble. Settlers honoured him 
for the sake of his services, always ungrudgingly given. He 
spent several years in England in active ministerial work, and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


was elected President of the British Conference in 1865. He died 
in London in 1872. His unfailing courtesy animated the last 
words he uttered to his wife : * Thank you, bless you, a thousand 
times.' He bade adieu to earth without a sigh, as though ex- 
pecting in another world he would have even better work to do. 

As Grahamstown extended suburban churches were erected 
— one at West Hill, in the year i860, the foundation-stone of 
which was laid by Mrs. Impey, daughter of the Rev. W. Shaw, 
and another at Fort England, not far from the house occupied 
by Sergeant Lucas, in which Mr. Shaw preached on his first 
visit to Grahamstown. 

Separate congregations were formed of Dutch-speaking 
coloured people, of Kafirs, and of Fingos, and each section had 
its own place of worship. So important did this work become 
that in 1843 a minister was appointed to take charge of it. 
The Rev. H. H. Dugmore was the first pastor, followed by 
the Revs. H. Pearce, W. H. Gamer (who died in Grahams- 
town in 1864), and a long train of honoured men, closing with 
the Rev. W. C. Holden. A native minister has at the. present 
time charge of the work, and a handsome native church has 
been erected in the location. 

As a large number of natives are employed in the colony as 
servants, labourers, etc., most European churches in the towns 
have native congregations affiliated to them, under the care 
either of the English minister or of a native pastor. English 
circuits are thus Mission agencies as well, and promote the 
extension of Christianity among the heathen living in their 
vicinity. It is not necessary to dwell at length on the details of 
this work, as it differs little from that carried on in Kafirland. 

In 1874 ^ valuable addition was made to Commemoration 
Church by the erection of an organ chamber, and the introduc- 
tion of a very fine organ at a cost of ;£'3,ooo, and in 1893 the 
organ was enlarged and improved at an additional cost of 
/"i,2oo. The Puritan in thought will object that such ex- 
penditure is unjustifiable, and it undoubtedly is unjustifiable if 
in order to provide it the poor are neglected and spiritual work 
is crippled. Human beings are more precious than organs to 
the loving heart of Christ. But, on the other hand, the people 
to whom the Lord is precious feel that nothing is too costly for 
His service. If we lavish wealth on our public buildings and 
private dwellings, making them fit scenes of our civic and 
domestic life, we should deal generously with our churches, 
the centres of our spiritual life. 

Digitized by feeR)gle 


In 1878 the Rev. W. Impey, who had been for many years 
the honoured General Superintendent of Wesleyan Missions 
in the eastern districts, changed his 
doctrinal views, and resigned his con- 
nection with the Methodist Church. 
His resignation, followed by that of 
his son, the Rev. B. S. H. Impey, 
caused general and sincere regret. 
He will always be remembered for the 
devoted character of his labours and 
the personal charm of his manner. 

The vacancy thus created was filled 
by the Rev. J. Walton, who, at a 
few days' notice, left England for 
Grahamstown. He had a noble pre- 
sence, and was an eloquent preacher 
REV. w. IMPEY. ^^4 platform speaker. He had ac- 

quired a wide experience in India 
and in England, and his bold, saga- 
cious ministration will be long held in affectionate remem- 
brance. He was made* Chairman of the Grahamstown 
District, was elected the first President of the South African 
Conference on its formation in 1883, and was re-elected the 
following year. 

To Mr. Walton's untiring energy and skill is largely due the 
existence of the * Wesleyan High School for Girls.' No such 
institution had hitherto been attempted, 
and Wesleyan parents in the eastern 
districts had often been compelled to 
send their daughters for advanced 
education to Anglican and Roman 
Catholic schools, where the influences 
were antagonistic to the church of 
their fathers. The Government-aided 
schools made no provision for religious 
instruction, and so long as education 
was made the football of contending 
religious factions no improvement was 
possible. Many thoughtful persons 
considered that if religious teaching rev. j. walton. 

was to influence the whole character 

it must be definite and imperative, and dogmatic. The Chris- 
tian family life of the home needed to be supplemented^by 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Christian instruction in the day-school. Accordingly an attempt 
was made in 1880 to provide a high class education for girls 
in a Wesleyan institution, and ;^3,ooo having been subscribed 
a day-school was commenced in a house in Beaufort Street in 
January of that year, and a boarding department in July. 
Miss Walton was Lady Principal, and Miss Lowe was Lady 
Resident. The year closed with sixty-five pupils. From the 
first the scholastic efficiency, the discipline, and moral tone of 
the school were excellent. In 1882 a large block of buildings 
was erected near the railway station for the accommodation of 
the increasing number of scholars. The total cost, including 
the internal fittings, was ;^i 1,000, a large portion of which was 
raised in Grahamstown. The building is of fine proportions, 


and homely comfort has not been forgotten in its construction. 
To the rear of the school has since been erected a large teaching 
hall, with class-rooms, at a cost of more than ;^4,ooo, and the 
original building is devoted wholly to boarding purposes. 
Another building to accommodate forty boarders has also been 
erected, and is called * Walton House.' The Wesleyan High 
School for Girls occupies a widening field of usefulness, and 
has gained an honourable place amongst the educational insti- 
tutions of Cape Colony. 

This success stimulated the Wesleyans of Grahamstown to 
establish a Boys* High School on English public school lines. 
A modest commencement was made in 1893, ^^ 3- temporary 
building placed in the parsonage grounds, with the Rev. T. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



Chubb, B.A., as Principal. Four years later, very extensive 
buildings, in the Elizabethan style of architecture, were erected 
on an admirable site near the girls* school, at a cost of ;^i4,ooo 
without the assistance of any grant from the Government. 
E. G. Gane, Esq., M.A., was headmaster from the first, and his 
ability and tact in a few years raised Kingswood College, as it 
is called, to a high position for sound teaching and healthy 
moral training. In connection with Kingswood College are a 
laboratory, a gymnasium, and a cadet corps. The Girls* High 
School and Kingswood College have each about loo boarders, 
and a large number of day scholars. The success of these 
two schools is assured, but their financial condition would be 
greatly improved if the buildings were 
free from debt. 

In 1903 the old parsonage in High 
Street, having been sold, Mrs. Bransby 
generously built a new one near Oat- 
lands, and presented it to the Metho- 
dist church in memory of the late 
Rev. T. A. Chalker, who died suddenly 
at Shawbury, at the close of the District 

From the first Methodism took a 
firm hold of the inhabitants of 
Grahamstown ; and, not wit standing 
the keen rivalries of other churches, 
she has never wholly lost it. Genera- 
tion after generation of godly laymen 
have been raised up to carry on 
the Christian work which the settlers commenced. The 
revivals of past years have left their sacred mark on the 
character of the people, and nowhere in South Africa is the 
Sabbath more reverently honoured, or moral worth more 
highly appreciated. Where so many have excelled, it would 
be invidious to mention names ; but it may be allowable to 
refer to those members of the congregation assembling in 
Commemoration Church who have, at different periods, risen 
to eminence in public life : 

The Honourables Robert Godlonton, George Wood, senr., 
W. Cock, and Samuel Cawood, were members of the Legisla- 
tive Council. 

The Hon. William Ayliff was Secretary for Native Affairs 
in the first Sprigg Ministry in 1878, and the Hon. Jonathan 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




Ayliff was' Colonial Secretary in the Upington Ministry in 

Messrs. James Thackwray, J. C. Hoole, J. Cawood, R. AylifF, 
H. Blaine, John E. Wood, Joseph Wood, George Wood, junr., 
G. C. Clough, and J. Trower were members of the House of 

Messrs. Henry Wood and Josiah Slater, B.A., are members 
of the House of Assembly at the present time. 

Perhaps no other Wesleyan congregation, or congregation 
of any church, in South Africa can furnish a similar record. 




















Grahamstown has been chosen by several Wesleyan ministers 
as their place of rest in the eventide of life. Its bracing air, 
its freedom from the rush of busy commerce, its congenial 
society, make it attractive. Here dwelt for several years the 
Rev. J. Edwards, one of the leaders of the Barolongs in their 
migration to Thaba Nchu, the pioneer Wesleyan minister at 
Port Elizabeth, Cradock, Somerset East, and Graaff Reinet, a 
vivacious preacher, a lover of animals, an expert horseman, 
and who, during his long ministry, probably rode as many miles 
as John Wesley himself, and was bright and cheerful to the 
end. Here spent some of his last years the Rev. W. Tyson, 
who had, for Christ's sake, braved the deadly yellow fever in 
Central America, and recovered from it as by a miracle, the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



faithful circuit minister, a close student of the Pauline Epistles, 
and a trained theologian. Here lived the Rev. W. C. Holden, 
whose spare, wiry body seemed to defy for years the touch of 


time, who, whether in Natal, or among the Bechuanas, or in 
Cape Colony, was always the diligent pastor, caring for the 



dwellers on solitary farms as truly as for the population in 
towns ; the author of * The Past and Future of the Kafir 
Races/ and other works; who continued to labour on long 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


after the seventieth milestone of life was passed, and then 

* ceased at once to work and live.' Here resided the Rev. B. J. 
Shaw, son of the Rev. B. Shaw, of the Namaqua Mission. 
Throat trouble shut him out from the ministry of preaching ; 
but, with cheerful resignation, he turned to other work, and at 
Salem, the Ghio, Peddie, and Grahamstown he was for years 
the faithful Christian educationist. Quiet, modest, and bright, 

* in beauty of soul he was passing rich.* The names of these 
saintly men linger sweetly still on the lips of the living ; their 
welcome faces are no longer seen in wayside walk and Sabbath 
pew, but the memory of their deeds, when it recurs, makes life 
less hard and prosaic, and lights up the earth with not a little 
of the glory of heaven. 

Bathurst. — During the Christmas holidays of 1830 a party 
of young people from Bathurst visited the seaside at the mouth 
of the Kowie River. Whilst there a remarkable revival of 
religion commenced amongst them, and the first to obtain a 
joyful sense of the mercy of God was a youth who subsequently 
entered the Wesleyan ministry, and was known and honoured 
as the Rev. H. H. Dugmore, an able preacher, a skilled 
musician, and no mean poet. Upon his return to Bathurst he 
rushed into a house, exclaiming with great rapture : * O for a 
thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise!' A 
powerful spiritual influence fell on the company, and they 
adjourned to the woodside, where, under the light of the stars, 
they engaged in prayer, and many found peace with God. 
Amongst them was Joseph Warner, who became a Wesleyan 
missionary, and, after several years' service, was appointed 
Government Agent to the Tembus. Two other young men 
found Christ that evening — George and Charles Rhodes. 
George one day set out on an excursion to Mansfield, a 
favourite resort for holiday-keepers, and sat beside the driver 
on the front of the waggon. Just as he was singing the words, 

* There is a land of pure delight,* the front wheel struck a large 
stone, he fell from his seat, the front wheels passed over his 
body, and the hind wheel over his head. One nervous quiver 
of his body, and his spirit sprang at a bound into * the land of 
pure delight,' of which he had been singing. The body was 
taken to Grahamstown, and his premature death tended greatly 
to deepen the glorious revival of 1831, with which the closing 
year of the Yellow Chapel was so richly blessed. 

In 1832 .the present Wesleyan Church was built and dedi- 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


cated by the Rev. W. J. Shrewsbury. It was a small structure 
with thatched roof, but has been improved from time to time, 
until now it is a comfortable place of worship. During the 
Native War of 1846 it was turned into a fort, surrounded by 
earthen embankments, and here Mr. AylifF, his family, and 
many of the inhabitants, found refuge and safety. At Clumber 
the services were held in the house of Mr. Pike, the leader of 
the Nottingham party, and a devoted Christian. Afterwards, 
a church was erected on a beautiful hill, overlooking a valley, 
which, with its rounded knolls, and its groups of forest trees, 
is not unlike parts of Devonshire. The present church was 
built in 1867. Six miles from Clumber a Wesleyan church 
was built at Shaw Park in 1863, on ground given by Messrs. 
T. and W. Cockcroft, and on the spot where formerly stood a 
tree, beneath which Mr. Shaw had often preached. The 
Wesleyan Church at Rokeby Park was built in 1884, and in 
1886 an iron church was put up at Kleineraonde. In 1889 a 
handsome parsonage was built at Clumber, having attached to 
it twenty acres of ground well adapted for pine-growing. 

The Methodists of Lower Albany have characteristics of 
their own. Cultivators of small farms, living near to each 
other, they are eminently social, quaint in speech, original in 
character, and devoted to their church and its ministers. In 
them the fine qualities of the early settlers are continued, little 
affected by the movements that, in the busy centres of trade, 
encourage superficiality and change. 

At Salem, July 18 was for a long time observed as the anni- 
versary of the formation of the settlement, and it was on that 
day, in the year 1850, that Mr. W. H. Matthews laid the 
foundation of the present church. His academy, in days when 
schools were few, made Salem an important educational centre, 
and here were educated boys who afterwards developed into 
merchants, or lawyers, or even statesmen. After Mr. Matthews' 
death the school was conducted by the Rev. B. J. Shaw, who 
gave special attention to the education of the sons of ministers. 
When Sir George Grey promulgated his scheme of industrial 
schools for the natives, the institution at Salem was taken over 
by the Governor, with Mr. Shaw as its principal. After Sir 
George Grey left the Colony, a penurious Government with- 
drew the grant-in-aid; the institution was converted into a 
public day-school, and was conducted by Mr. S. Shaw. The 
grant of ^100 per annum made by the Government to the 

Digitized by L^OOQlC 


chaplain of the Sephton, or Salem, party was continued up to 
the year 1881, when it lapsed ; but the increased liberality of 
the people more than compensated for the loss. In recent 
years the population of Salem has diminished, and the village 
is a picturesque, slumberous retreat. But the circuit is expand- 
ing in other directions, and recently Sandflats and Alicedale 
have been occupied. Nine miles from Salem is Seven Foun- 
tains, one of the earliest homes of the settlers, where, in 1885, 
a new church was erected, the design for which was drawn by 
Mr. T. Cook, son of the missionary at Nisbett Bath. Nine 
miles further stands the hamlet of Sidbury, where, in i860, 
the Rev. H. H. Dugmore commenced services in the large 
room of the hotel. A neat church was built at a later date, 
and to the fortnightly services the farmers in the neighbour- 
hood come for miles, and keep up the forms of Christian 

Port Alfred has not fulfilled its early promise. At one time 
there was a prospect of it blossoming into a prosperous port. 
Steamers anchored off the mouth of the river. A civil engineer 
and a port captain were in residence. Masons and carpenters 
were employed in erecting piers which were intended to narrow 
and deepen the entrance to the river. It appeared as if, with 
a railway to Grahamstown, the success of the port was certain. 
The railway was made, but the Government, after spending 
about three-quarters of a million sterling, stopped the sea- works, 
and Port Alfred declined. At first the population dwelt on the 
west side of the river ; a Wesley an church was built for their 
use, and in 1879 the Rev. J. Priestley was appointed resident 
minister. Then the Magistrate's Court, the Post Office, the 
Custom House, and the Railway Terminus, were placed on 
the east side, and many of the people migrated to that side of 
the river. For a time services were held in a private house, 
and subsequently a church was built ; but this division of 
interest in a small population was a source of weakness, and 
little progress was made. Within recent years the place has 
become a favourite seaside resort, and, Methodistically, it has 
been made an out-station of the Grahamstown circuit. 

Fort Beaufort, as its name implies, was a military post, 
established to protect the colony from the raids of the Ama- 
Xosa, and here was established a large body of troops. The 
farms in the neighbourhood were at that time healthy for sheep, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


and many of them were occupied by Wesleyans from Lower 
Albany. As there was neither church nor pastor in Beaufort, 
both soldiers and civilians asked for the occasional visit of a 
Wesleyan minister, and about 1833 the ministers at Grahams- 
town held services at Beaufort once a month. The journey 
thither was fifty miles long, through a rugged country, inter- 
sected by rivers often swollen by rains. In 1838 the Rev. 
G. H. Green, just arrived from England, was sent, and 
churches for Europeans and natives were provided. Both 
these buildings were found to be inconvenient, and in 1849 they 
were sold, and the present English Wesleyan Church was 
erected, and also a native church. About 1874 the church 
was at the height of its prosperity. The building was crowded, 
and people had to wait to secure sittings. Then the military 
were withdrawn. The farms in the district were decimated by 
heart-water, and sheep-farming fell into decay. Trade drooped, 
and people left the town. The congregation declined, and 
financial embarrassment began to trouble. For many years 
Methodism in Beaufort has been able to do little more than 
hold its own. Recently, the burden has been lightened by the 
generous assistance of Mr. Wesley Wilson, and the Rev. 
T. W. Pocock. The former has given ;^8oo towards a new 
parsonage, and, with the aid of both, the church has been 
renovated inside and out. 

Seymour received for many years a monthly visit from the 
ministers at Fort Beaufort, and on the intermediate Sundays 
the services were conducted by Mr. Cadwallader, a farmer 
living close to the village, and a man of noble Christian 
character. Chiefly through his exertions a church was built, 
which was a plain structure with open rafters overhead, and 
looked not unlike a large farmer's kitchen. Even after Seymour 
was detached from Fort Beaufort, Mr. Cadwallader continued 
to render valuable help, and his name is still cherished. The 
district is occupied by small farmers, whose chief crop is 

Port Elizabeth was for years outside the sphere of Methodism. 
An Anglican clergyman resided in the town, and the mission- 
aries of the London Society at Bethelsdorp occasionally came 
over and preached to the people. The moral condition of the 
inhabitants was low ; they w^ere noted for intemperance, and, 
in the absence of liquor laws, men grew rich by the sale of 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


intoxicants. The port was in its infancy, and only a few 
sailing-vessels visited the bay. Houses were scattered in an 
irregular manner over the sand-hills, and Fort Frederick, with 
its ancient cannon, dominated over all. As the town expanded, 
the spiritual needs of the people increased, and the Wesleyan 
ministers of Grahamstown rode over twice in three months, 
a journey of 100 miles, to conduct services. This arrange- 
ment was too laborious to be continued, and, in 1839, the Rev. 
J. Edwards, who had been a missionary among the Barolongs, 
on the border of Basutoland, was appointed to Port Elizabeth, 
and received from the few Wesleyans a hearty welcome. At 
first he hired a house on the beach, and fitted it up for worship. 
(That house has long ago disappeared.) In 1841 a plain square 
church of the early Methodist type was erected in Queen Street, 
on the spot where the settlers, on their arrival in 1820, had 
pitched their tents, and where Mr. Shaw, standing on a rock, 
had preached in the open air. * The church had a small, old- 
fashioned pulpit on the back wall, and near the ceiling ; a 
shallow gallery over the entrance, and high pews with doors, 
the heads of the congregation only being visible to the preacher. 
During its erection, John Owen Smith, a merchant, though 
not a Wesleyan, gave liberal assistance and his personal super- 
vision. Its completion was considered an important event, 
and the Revs. W. Shaw and W. B. Boyce came from Grahams- 
town, and conducted the dedicatory services. For thirty years 
this plain building was the spiritual home of Methodism in 
Port Elizabeth. At the time there was in the town only one 
Episcopal church and a native congregation belonging to the 
London Society. Upon * the Hill/ now the popular residential 
part, there was a leper hospital, which Mr. Edwards visited 
every week. * It required,* said he, * a man of iron nerve and 
resolute mind to bear the sight and endure the smell of these 
unfortunate victims of a loathsome disease. They were about 
thirty in number, and I preached to them in Dutch, taking care 
to stand above the wind. Poor creatures ! almost every week 
some of them went to the grave.* 

At Cradocktown dwelt many natives employed by Messrs. 
Chase, Schubelies, and the Metlerkamps, and for their benefit 
Mr. Edwards was accustomed to ride out every Sabbath after- 
noon and hold service. * Morning and evening,* he wrote, 
*I preached in English to my Port Elizabeth congregation, 
and in the afternoon I was engaged with the natives at 
Cradocktown. There was very little time between these 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



services. Whilst partaking of my dinner, the horse would 
stand ready saddled at the door for me to ride to Cradocktown. 
On my return I would get a cup of tea, retire for a short time 
to my study, and then be in the pulpit in time to conduct the 
evening service.* 

In 1870 the present church in Russell Road was commenced. 
The foundation-stone was laid by Mrs. Hill, a lady of great 
sweetness and nobility of character, and whose husband Mr. 
Sydney Hill, a merchant, was not only a generous promoter of 
the effort, but an active worker in the church. The pastor at 
the time was the Rev. T. Guard, one of the finest orators in 
the Wesleyan ministry, and his eloquent addresses made a 
great impression, doctors, lawyers, and persons rarely seen 
inside a Wesleyan Church, being 
attracted by his ministry. The site 
of the new church was unfortunately 
disadvantageous, abutting as it did on 
a road with a steep gradient, and 
having in the rear a high cliff. It 
can scarcely be said that the diffi- 
culties of the site have been success- 
fully overcome, and it is to be regretted 
that Russell Road Church, with its 
beautiful interior arches, should be 
buried in an excavation. The build- 
ing cost ;^5,ooo, and of this, in 1872, 
when the church was completed, all 
was raised except ;^5oo. The Rev. 
James Fish and Mr. Sydney Hill 
waited upon the merchants in Main 
Street, and in a few hours obtained the required amount. 
Port Elizabeth merchants are keen, shrewd men of business ; 
but they are noted for their open- handedness when appealed 
to for any laudable undertaking. There was yet only one 
resident Wesleyan minister, though there was work for two. 
Food was dear, rents were high, and the church income, though 
improving, was small. 

The discovery of diamonds at Kimberley and the develop- 
ment of the northern republics was followed by a rapid 
expansion of the trade of the seaport. Population increased, 
and both to the north and south of the town houses and streets 
extended parallel with the beach. 

In 1878 a Wesleyan church was erected at the north end at 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




a cost of ;^2,32o. It was a neat Gothic structure, and a 
few years later a schoolroom was built in the rear. The 
Rev. G. Parsonson, who had come to Port Elizabeth from 
Western Africa for the benefit of his health, rendered valuable 
assistance in meeting the increasing demands for ministerial 

In 1 881 the Rev. O. Carey was appointed to the south end, 
amongst an artizan population. Services had hitherto been 
conducted in a very humble building called * The Bethel,* 
erected on ground in South Union Street, given by Mr. W. 
Bishop ; but it was of little use to the sailors visiting the port, 
and soon proved too small for the congregation. In 1882 the 
present church was commenced on the highest part of the 
neighbourhood, and the memorial stones were laid by Mr. R. 
King and Mr. H. Bisseker. The total 
cost was ;f3,ooo. The church was 
opened in 1883 by the Rev. J. Walton, 
M.A., and the appearance of the 
church cannot be considered tasteful, 
for the roof was so lofty that a second 
and lower ceiling had to be intro- 
duced to improve its acoustic condi- 
tion. In 1892 a manse was provided, 
the first minister to occupy it being 
the Rev. R. Jenkin. For several years 
the congregation was stationary; but 
in 1888, during the pastorate of the 
Rev. W. W. Rider, South End 
Methodism grew and was formed into 
a separate circuit. Mr. Rider com- 
menced services at Walmer, a rising 

suburb, on Sabbath afternoons, and chiefly through his efforts 
a small church was built there in 1900, the site being given by 
Mr. G. Newton. To the rear of the South End Church an 
excellent schoolroom was erected by two brothers, James and 
George Newton, and in their honour it is called * Newton Hall* 
There are now four Wesleyan ministers in Port Elizabeth. 

But the boldest step in church building was the erection of 
St. John's Church in Havelock Street, due largely to the 
exertions of the Rev. W. Wynne and his energetic officials. 
The church is a beautiful Gothic structure, with a tall spire 
seen from all parts of the town. The cost was about ;f 9,000, 
and half of this amount had to remain as debt. For many 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




years this heavy financial burden seriously retarded progress ; 
but in 1902 an anonymous donor offered ;f 1,000 towards the 
extinction of the debt ; the conference granted another ;^i,ooo 
from the Twentieth Century Fund ; the Rev. J. Robb collected 
more than a third ;^ 1,000 ; and the debt was reduced to ;f 1,400. 
The inquiry arises, were the Wesleyans of Port Elizabeth 
justified in building a costly church, incurring a heavy debt, in 
a locality which was already well suppHed with churches of 
other denominations ? Would it not have been wiser to wait 


until Providence had made the way plainer and freer from 
financial embarrassment ? It can scarcely be doubted that if 
the building had been delayed a few years, St. John's Church 
would not have been erected where it is, but amongst the 
increasing population along the Cape Road, for whom there is 
at present insufficient religious accommodation. At the side of 
St. John's Church, a neat schoolroom was erected in 1901 at 
a cost of ;f 1,000, and in 1905 a handsome manse. 

Amongst the Wesley an laity of past generations, mention 
may be made of Mr. and Mrs. G. Uppleby who, for twenty 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


years, extended their hospitality to every missionary who 
landed in Algoa Bay. Mr. Uppleby was known for his 
rectitude in business and his shrewd sense at the Council table. 
One of his last acts was to give ;^3oo to redeem the debt on 
church property. Mrs. Uppleby was an active promoter of 
education and one of the founders of the Collegiate School. 

Methodism has a fine field of usefulness in this thriving 
seaport Its citizens are keen in business, fond of amusement 
in moments of leisure, generous in giving ; but do not appreciate 
deep spiritual life. To set before the people in forcible, 
cultured speech the great truths of the Gospel is the work of 
the churches ; and Methodists, both ministerial and lay, are 
endeavouring to do their duty. At the North End and South 
End are increasing congregations. Russell Road congregation 
consists largely of young men, but suffers from frequent 
removals. A face may be seen at the services for a few 
Sabbaths and then it vanishes, having left for some up-country 
town or returned to England. To say, as some do, that the 
surroundings of this commercial port make spiritual life 
impossible is to lose faith in Christ. * Even in Sardis * Christ's 
servants were able to keep, amid pagan pollution, the * white 
flower of a blameless life.' 

Uitenhage Methodism was at first an offshoot of the Port 
Elizabeth Circuit. In July, 1839, the Rev. J. Edwards 
preached in the Government schoolroom to about forty persons. 
The local industry was the washing of wool, and several 
washing establishments were formed along the banks of 
Zwartkops River. In these works a large number of coloured 
people were employed, and to them Mr. Edwards occasionally 
preached in the drying-grounds. In August of the same year 
a house was rented in John Street ; but in 1840 the house, with 
the erf on which it stood, extending 750 feet, including another 
house fronting Cuyler Street, was purchased from Mr. 
Hitzeroth for ;^28o. Land was cheap. The larger dwelling 
in John Street was transformed into a chapel by taking out all 
the interior walls, and for twenty years the Wesleyans met 
here for worship, services being conducted by the ministers at 
Port Elizabeth with such lay help as could be obtained. Mr. 
Matthew Hall settled in Uitenhage and commenced business 
as a tanner, and, being a local preacher, was offered the use of 
the house in Cuyler Street free, in return for the valuable 
assistance he rendered by holding services as often as required. 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


In i860 the Rev. W. R. Longden was appointed to Uitenhage 
and married Mr. Hall's eldest daughter. He was held in high 
esteem, but his health was delicate, the work was laborious ; 
he retired in 1862, and two years later he died. 

The Wesleyans in Uitenhage, in view of the complex nature 
of the work, petitioned for a minister who could preach in 
English, Dutch, and Kafir, and said : * You have the man we 
want in the Rev. W. Sargeant/ Mr. Sargeant was sent. The 
place of worship in John Street had fallen into a dilapidated 
condition ; the ceiling was low, and bats by scores had taken 
possession of the roof The building was renovated, and here 
the Revs. W. Sargeant, Purdon Smailes, and W. C. Holden 
officiated in succession. There were several lay preachers who 
took the services when the minister was absent on his * round ;' 
for, in a few years, eighteen congregations were collected in 
various places, including Sunday River, Jericho, and distant 

In 1866 land more conveniently situated in John Street was 
purchased for ;^24o ; the house upon it was made the parsonage ; 
and on the vacant ground was built, in 1870, during the 
pastorate of Mr. Holden and chiefly through the exertions of 
Mrs. Uppleby, the present pretty church. It was opened in 
May, 1871, having cost ;^i,4oo, and was named 'Jubilee 
Chapel,* in honour of the settlers of 1820. The former mission 
house and adjacent land were sold ; and the old church, 
repaired and reroofed, was transferred to the natives. Mr. 
and Mrs. Uppleby left Uitenhage for Port Elizabeth, and the 
financial position of the congregation being still weak, in 1873 
the Missionary Committee in London recommended that the 
minister should be withdrawn, and the congregation supplied 
firom Port Elizabeth. Happily, wiser counsels prevailed at the 
Annual Synod, and it was resolved that Uitenhage should be 
continued and assisted. 

With the establishment of railway workshops in Uitenhage 
the population received a large accession of mechanics, princi- 
pally British ; but upon this new element, which now comprises 
at least 400 employees and their families, Methodism has made 
little impression. In 1881, when the Rev. W. H. Price was 
pastor, Methodism in Uitenhage reached high-water mark. 
The church was crowded. There were fifty-three English 
members, three catechumen classes, and a large Sabbath- 
school. But from this position there has been a slow decline, 
notwithstanding the efforts of successive ministers. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



A Congregational church was erected in Uitenhage towards 
the close of the year 1881, and those who sympathized with 
that form of worship seceded from the Wesleyan congregation. 
There was also little opening locally for business, and many 
removed to more favourable places. In 1882 the Wesleyan 
church in Uitenhage lost in this way two circuit stewards, 
three local preachers, and seven church officials. In 1884 the 
Rev. T. H. Wainman held special services, which were 
attended by many conversions. Three classes were formed ; 
but the flush of revival faded away, and the decline continued. 
Recently the congregation has increased, and there are signs 
of expansion. 

Jansenville began to be visited in 1875, ^md the Dutch 
kindly lent their church for the services. 
Twenty years passed away in occa- 
sional visits; but in 1896 the munici- 
pality gave a piece of ground in a 
prominent position, and, under the 
spirited lead of Mrs. Heydenrich and 
Mr. J. E. Nash, a pretty church was 
built. A resident minister was secured, 
and out-stations formed at Klipplaats, 
Mount Stewart, and Steytlerville, at 
which latter place a church has been 
erected on ground given by the Kerk- 
raad of the Dutch Reformed Church. 

Cradock was a small, straggling 
village when the Rev. Thornley Smith rev. j. edwards. 

entered it in 1840, and preached in the 

Court House to the English inhabitants. Hottentots and newly- 
emancipated slaves were employed as servants and labourers, 
and to them he preached in a wattled hut. When he left, the 
work was continued by the Rev. John Ayliff, who rode over 
from Haslope Hills, sixty miles distant; and in 1842 a small 
church was built, and the resident Dutch Reformed minister, 
Mr. Taylor, conducted one of the dedicatory services. The 
year following the Rev. J. Edwards came from Port EHzabeth; 
and his evangelistic fervour was not satisfied with preaching to 
the residents in Cradock, for he rode, explored, visited, and 
preached over a wide district. Every six weeks he took a 
journey, which he thus describes : * I would leave Cradock in 
the morning, go on to Grootfontein, at that time the large 

Digitized by Ln^OQlC 



establishment of Mr. James Collett, where there was a con- 
gregation of both English and natives ; thence on to Water- 
kloof for the service next night ; then away over the Sneeuw- 
berg; thence down to Zwaager's Hoek, crossing the Little 
Fish River twelve times in as many hours ; and thence into the 
town of Somerset. After conducting the several services there, 
and remaining the usual time, I would return to Cradock by 
an opposite route. Crossing the Little Fish River, I would 
pass on to Cookhouse, over Slagter*s Nek, cross the Great 
Fish River at Bull Kraal, and travel on to Dagga Boer*s Nek, 
where a good congregation was found. This round completed, 
I would start for "Home, sweet home" in Cradock. **Yes," 
says one, ** I think it high time you did.'* Ah, friend, you 
don't know how often and how long, 
in those days, a missionary had to be 
away from home comforts while in the 
discharge of his duties.* But by these 
long journeys the flame of piety in 
many a lonely farmhouse was kept 

During his last year in Cradock, on 
one of these journeys, Mr. Edwards 
had a singular experience. A gentle- 
man named Mr. E. D. Hepburn was 
engaged as a teacher to the children 
of the Scotch settlers in Baviaan's 
River Valley. He had been sent out 
by the Presbytery of the Free Church 
at Lanark, but, becoming dissatisfied 
with his position, arranged to return 
to Scotland. Whilst praying for Divine guidance, it was 
forcibly impressed upon his mind that he should join the 
Methodist church, and that before twelve o'clock at noon he 
would be visited by a minister, who would advise him what to 
do. Just at the time named Mr. Edwards walked in and said : 
'Brother Hepburn, what is it you want with me? I was 
going along another road when something said that I must 
come to you.* The conversation that followed decided Mr. 
Hepburn. He entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1848. He 
was at Salem in 1850, and assisted to defend the village from 
the attacks of the enemy. He had charge of the school there 
for a time, after Mr. Matthews' retirement. He commenced 
the native work in Port Elizabeth. He was a man greatly 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



beloved, had charge of many circuits, and died at Stellenbosch 
in 1885. 

In the year 1850, during the pastorate of the Rev. G. H. 
Green, what may be called the nave of the present church was 
built. The Rev. J. Wilson, then of Port Elizabeth, was the 
architect, and Mr. Shaw pronounced it to be a * model chapeL* 
In 1 86 1 Mr. Wilson was himself the resident minister in 
Cradock, and the church he had designed had become too 
small for the congregation. The building was too narrow to 
admit of lengthening, so wings or transepts were added, giving 
the church almost the form of a cross. Mr. Wilson also com- 
menced a parsonage, but when the foundations were laid the 
funds were required for the enlargement of the church, and the 
effort was abandoned. The schoolroom was built in 1870. In 
1902, upon the foundations laid by Mr. Wilson, a handsome 
parsonage was erected, the cost of which was, with outbuild- 
ings, ;^2,ooo. It is one of the finest dwellings in Cradock. 

In the location are Wesleyan churches for Kafirs, Hottentots, 
and Basutos; One was erected to the memory of the Rev. 
James Lwana, who died at Cradock in 1896. His last request, 
when too feeble to walk, was to be conveyed to the church, 
that he might administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
to his own people. 

The Wesleyan church in Cradock has had its times of trial. 
Opposing counsels, divergent opinions on minor points of church 
order, have divided and weakened the energies of the congrega- 
tion. Private opinion has its claims, but, if not held in loving 
subordination to the welfare of the rest, it may seriously injure 
the progress of God's work. But the people are realizing the 
need of unity and absolute dependence upon the Holy Spirit, 
and the pastorates of the Revs. R. Hornabrook and P. Tearle 
have been marked by increasing prosperity. 

The Wesleyan church in Middleburg has passed through 
many vicissitudes. As an out- station of the Cradock circuit, 
an attempt was made in 1879 to occupy it with a resident 
minister, but, his voice failing, he had to retire. In 1881 the 
Rev. G. A. Currier was sent, but there were few Wesleyans in 
the town, and, whilst the services were well attended, there 
was a lack of cohesion and strength. In 1885, after the Rev. 
O. Carey had been pastor for two years, financial difficulties 
increased, and the Quarterly Meeting wired to Conference : 
Cannot take a married nian ; not disposed to take a single 

^ jigitizedbyVjOOgie ^ 


man/ so no one was sent. In 1887 the Rev. A. J. Lennard 
made another attempt, and during his two years* pastorate, 
Methodism took permanent form. In 1890 the Rev. H. J. 
Withers became the resident minister, and the present neat 
church was erected. Since the war of 1 899-1901 Middleburg 
has been constituted the headquarters of the military in the 
midland districts, and several thousand men are constantly in 
camp. The field of usefulness thus presented is of the first 
importance, and Middleburg is developing into an important 
Methodist centre. The outlying stations are Schoombie, 
Steynsburg, and Rosmead. 

Somerset East. — As early as the year 1821 the Rev. W. 
Shaw occasionally visited the Government Farm at Somerset 
East tb preach to the servants employed upon it, who included 
Dutch, prize negroes, and Hottentots, and for whom there was 
no minister or any church. The Lieutenant-Governor of the 
Colony gave a plot of ground at the foot of the Boschberg, and 
on it a small church was built, in which the Revs. S. Kay and 
J. AylifF successfully ministered. In 1825 the farm was broken 
up and converted into a town and seat of magistracy. ' Many 
of the servants left ; the Dutch population increased ; a Dutch 
minister arrived, and the Wesleyans retired. The church was 
sold, and changed into a residence for the Dutch Reformed 
minister. Mr. AylifF went to Grahamstown. Perhaps the 
retrocession was unavoidable, but it created difficulties when 
an attempt was made to reoccupy the ground. 

The Rev. J. Edwards, who came to Somerset in 1847, when 
he left Cradock, thus wrote : ' I had now to begin the work 
afresh, and wished no one had before commenced and failed. 
I found there were those who were unfriendly, and said some 
bitter things, being opposed to our attempt to establish there 
again. Others prophesied another failure, and it was said to 
me : " Mr. So-and-so was an eloquent preacher, and he had to 
give it up." I thought within myself: ** I will try. Energy 
and hard work may prevail where eloquence failed." This 
opposition continued for years.' A small church, in the centre 
of the town, had been built in 1843, the foundation-stone of 
which was laid by the Rev. W. C. Holden, and an erf, on 
which were two small cottages, had been purchased. Between 
the two cottages a quince-hedge grew ; this was dug up, a roof 
put up over the intervening space, one or two doorways made, 
and a mission house was provided. Ecclesiastical architecture 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 


was not appreciated in those days, and the little church, with 
its barn-like walls, its round-headed windows, its skeleton 
pews, and its high pulpit on the rear wall, were not very 
pleasing to the eye. In later times the church has been 

Mr. Edwards was accustomed to pioneer difficult enterprises. 
He cheerfully did what was practicable in this prettily-situated 
but small town, and he also rode over a wide district, preaching 
to the farmers and their families. Many sons of settlers, driven 
from Albany by the Kafir wars, had settled in the country 
betv/een Somerset and Graaflf Reinet, and for such a scattered 
population Methodism was adapted, but Mr. Edwards had to 
pass much of his time in the saddle. Westward, he travelled 
to Ebenezer, the hospitable residence of Mr. William Carey 
Hobson, a relation pf Dr. Carey of the Serampore Mission ; to 
Wheatlands, Stapleford, the Zwart Ruggens, and finally Graaff 
Reinet, eighty-four miles from Somerset. Southward, he ex- 
tended his journeys to Russell Park, where there is now a neat 
church, Ben Leegte, and Ann's Villa, on the slopes of the 
Zuurberg. Eastward, he travelled as far as Bedford. North- 
ward, he visited Glen Avon and Stockdale, in Zwaager's Hoek. 
At all these places services were held in the largest room of 
the farmhouse, or in the waggon-shed, which was cleaned and 
swept for the service. The English would assemble in the 
morning, arriving in carts and buggies ; and later the natives 
would assemble, to whom Mr. Edwards preached in Dutch. 
The work was laborious, but in this way the Gospel was 
carried to persons who lived far away from town and 
minister. In many of these places neat churches have been 

For such extensive journeys Mr. Edwards kept four horses. 
* But why does the missionary require so many horses ?* says 
one. Mr. Edwards* reply is worth repeating if only for his 
description of travel at the Cape half a century ago. * Not 
only are some of his appointments at a great distance from the 
circuit town, but the roads to them lie through a dreary 
country and but thinly populated, and it is neither safe nor 
prudent for him to ride alone. He may travel for hours with- 
out meeting with an individual. His horse may knock up, he 
may fall, the rider may be thrown and injured, and where is he 
to obtain assistance if he has not a man with him ? Imagine 
also a missionary with a day's journey before him of some fifty 
or sixty miles, and at every two or three hours' ride he has to 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


unsaddle his horse, tie its head to its knee that it may not run 
away from him, and then saddle it up again. What would the 
missionary be fit for by the time he arrives at his journey's 
end, when perhaps he has to preach that same evening after 
his arrival, if he had not a man with him to take off a part of 
the fatigue of his journey ? No man ought to travel any con- 
siderable distance in this country without three horses — one for 
himself, one for his man, and a spare horse. Then in travelling 
here we have not everywhere inns where you can get your 
horses baited at every few miles, and thus keep up their 
strength and spirit. Here they are on their journey, at intervals 
knee-haltered for a few minutes to roll, eat a little grass, and 
drink a little water, if there be any, but often neither the one 
nor the other is to be had. The day closes ; the rider turns 
into some house to tarry for the night. What becomes of his 
faithful steed ? Often it is tied up to a bush or to a waggon 
outside, under the pelting storm and cutting wind, for the 
night, without a mouthful to eat, nor can a mouthful of any- 
thing be procured for it. The next day perhaps it fares no 
better — its work no less, its food no more abundant. Perhaps 
the following week the missionary has a similar journey before 
him, in order to perform similar duties. Are these same horses 
fit for the labour of that week which have done so much, and 
suffered so much, in the toil of the journey of the past ? Here, 
then, you will find an answer to the question why so many 
horses are needed in some of the Mission circuits.* 

For twelve years, from 1846 to 1854, ^^^ from 1867 to 1870, 
Mr. Edwards continued these long, rough journeys in the 
saddle, often under a hot sun, or through pelting rains, or 
detained for days by swollen rivers. Once he crossed a river 
in flood at the peril of his life and arrived home in time to 
witness the death of one of his children. Six weeks later 
another child died of croup. * Somerset was noted for its kind, 
sympathetic people,' he wrote, * and of their friendly feeling we 
received such evidences as will never be forgotten.' 

During his second term of residence the English Wesleyan 
church in the town was enlarged, but there was not much 
room in Somerset for development. The population was small, 
and there were now three churches for the English inhabitants. 
Sectarian competition created overlapping and weakness, and 
where there was room for one church three crowded in. The 
strength of Methodism in the Somerset circuit is in the rural 
or farming population, which contains many generous, earnest 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Christians, and in many a farmhouse to-day the name of John 
Edwards is still a * household word.* 

In 1889 it became necessary to rebuild the parsonage. It 
had stood for fifty years, and where the quince-hedge had been 
dug up the ground was often soft and damp from underlying 
water. The tradition runs that the Rev. E. Lones, hearing 
that his stewards were about to pay him a visit, was found by 
them dramatically sowing parsley-seed on the kitchen floor. 
The old house was pulled down and rebuilt according to plans 
prepared by the Rev. N. Abraham, the resident minister, and 
now the parsonage is a very pleasant residence. Mr. Abraham 
was not only an able preacher, but was an enthusiastic student 
of nature. There is a Wesleyan native church in Somerset 
which sustains its own minister, and 
a Dutch -speaking congregation has 
also been formed. Handsome little 
churches have lately been erected at 
Middleton, upon ground given by Mr. 
G. Webster, and at Cookhouse, in 
connection with the Railway Mission, 
conducted by the Rev. A. Wellington. 
There are now three ministers where 
in Mr. Edwards' time there was only 

In the Somerset cemetery is the 
grave of the Rev. A. M*Aulay, Presi- 
dent of the British Conference in 1 876. 
He came out in 1890 to Natal to confer 
with his old friend, the Rev. S. E. Rowe, 
and commenced services in Maritz- 
burg, which were attended with great spiritual power. That 
was the commencement of an evangelistic tour which ended at 
Somerset, where he was taken ill, and died in his seventy- 
second year, beloved by all. 

At Bedford, about the year 1852, a number of Wesleyan 
families desired the settlement of a minister amongst them. 
Retrenchment was then in the ascendant, and no one could be 
sent. The Wesley ans united with others in establishing a 
Congregational or Union church, of which the Rev. E. Solomon 
was for twenty-eight years the pastor, and his ministry was 
very acceptable. After his death dissatisfaction with some of 
his successors found expression in an urgent request to the 

Digitized by VnOOQlC 



Wesley an Conference for the appointment of a minister to 
Bedford. The appeal was difficult to resist ; it was urged by 
Wesley ans residing in the town, and accordingly the Rev. R. 
Floweday was appointed in 1901. Bedford has a small Eng- 
lish population, for whose spiritual requirements there was not 
only the Congregational Church, but also an Anglican Church, 
and there was really no room for a third. The passion for 
having every denomination represented in a small town pro- 
duces weak congregations and a great waste of ministerial 
power. One church may prosper, the formation of two churches 
ends in debt and urgent appeals to central funds for help. 
Methodism had its opportunity and lost it. The attempt to 
occupy Bedford, the population of which is stationary, or nearly 
so, was not successful, and in 1904 the minister was withdrawn. 
There is a prosperous Wesleyan native church in Bedford, 
which owes much to the self-denying labours of Mr. F. P. 

About the year 1865 several gentlemen in Graaff Reinet 
offered ;^ioo a year for three years if a Wesleyan minister were 
sent to that town, and Messrs. Atkinson and Smith placed ;^300 
in the bank as a guarantee that the offer was reliable, but the 
official mind was timid, and shrank from extension. When 
the Rev. J. Edwards was leaving Somerset in 1870, he offered at 
the Annual Synod to attempt to form a Methodist congregation 
at Graaff Reinet, but he was allowed to go only on the express 
but chilling condition that he made no claim on the Mission 
funds for financial help. The congregations at Zwart Ruggens, 
Wheatlands, Brandfontein, and Stapleford, were detached 
from Somerset and attached to Graaff Reinet. To these he 
had preached for years, and he could look to them for assist- 
ance, but beyond this everything was uncertain. Mr. Edwards 
left his family at the house of a hospitable farmer, and with a 
buggy, two horses, and a coloured servant, drove into Graaff 
Reinet and put up at an hotel. He had not been there many 
hours when the Rev. Charles Murray, senr., Dutch Reformed 
minister, called, and offered the hospitality of his manse until 
a house could be obtained, and with him Mr. Edwards stayed 
for several weeks, receiving kindness he never forgot. The 
Government schoolroom was placed at his disposal for Divine 
worship, and on Sabbath evenings it frequently happened that 
more came than could gain admittance. A Sabbath-school 
was also commenced, at which sixty children attended. * We 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


had now to commence/ said Mr. Edwards, * under unfavourable 
conditions, not being able to obtain the money which was once 
offered, and having lost many who would have joined our 
church at an earlier period.' 

A small house was procured and furnished room by room, 
until they had something to sit and sleep upon. Debt was 
sacredly avoided. A corner of a bedroom was cut off from 
intrusion by a green baize curtain, and here was Mr. Edwards* 
study. * Ah, in that comer,* he wrote, * behind the green baize 
curtain I have spent many a blessed hour. In that little 
corner I have made more and better outlines of sermons than 
I ever made in my life before or, perhaps, ever will again. 
Perhaps I was then in the zenith of my studying power ; but 
one thing I know — that God helped me. I felt at home in the 
work and as happy as a lord, perhaps happier than many of 
the aristocracy of the world.* 

Mr. Edwards visited Aberdeen, and the Rev. Mr. Gray, the 
Dutch Reformed minister, readily lent his church. When the 
church bell rang one Tuesday evening, the people rushed out 
of their houses, inquiring : 

* What's up at the church ? Let us go and see what it is.* 
After the service, they asked : * Who is he ? Where does 

he come from ?* 

* Oh, from GraafF Reinet.* 

*We heard a Wesleyan minister had come there to live,* 
said another. 

* A Wesleyan ! A Wesleyan ! What sort of people are they ? 
What is the preacher's name ?* 

* His name is Edwards,* said one. 

* Oh ! that*s the old preacher who has been in Somerset so 
many years and travels about the country preaching.* 

And in this way Methodism commenced its career in 
Aberdeen. A little church was built in 1883, and a minister 
was stationed there. Another church was erected a year 
earlier at Oatlands. Saxony was visited regularly and so was 
Klipplaats, where resided Mr. C. Lee, a descendant of one of 
the settlers and afterwards a member of the House of Assembly, 
and here a Wesleyan Church was completed in 1905. Harefield 
Church was built in 1899. 

A suitable corner plot of ground in Caledon Street, Graaff 
Reinet, being offered for sale by public auction, Mr. Edwards 
bought it for ;^io5 ; he then went among the people, collected 
the money, and paid for it. Debt he abhorred, especially on 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


places of worship. The plans of a church were selected, and 
the foundation-stone was laid by Mrs. Edwards in 1871. Mr. 
Edwards said to the builder : * Go on with the stone-work, and 
when the foundation is finished, stop ! Give in the measure- 
ment and get paid. Lay not a single brick till the foundation 
is paid for.* Subscriptions coming in, the walls were proceeded 
with, and thus the building was carried on from stage to stage 
as the funds permitted, until walls and gables were up and 
ready for the roof. Then the work was stopped. Mrs. Edwards 
died. For forty years she had been scarcely less zealous than 
her husband, sharing with him the perils of the Barolong 
Mission, and thought no labour burdensome if she could 
promote the prosperity of the cause of Christ. Mr. Edwards' 
health having failed, he received permission to visit England 
to recruit. 

During a heavy storm of rain the gable fell before the roof 
could be proceeded with, and the wall had to be rebuilt. The 
church was not completed until the year 1875, and the opening 
was a high day. Friends came from long distances, and the 
building was crowded to excess. During the residence of the 
Rev. A. Brigg, the congregation increased and filled the 
building. At a later c^te, in 1894, when the Rev. T. Roper 
was pastor, the church was enlarged and a series of beautiful 
stained-glass windows were inserted to the memory of members 
of the families of Collett, and Roberts, and Hobson, and Lee. 
Two windows, in memory of the Rev. J. Edwards and Sarah, 
his wife, were placed in the front gable, and now the church is 
one of the prettiest in Cape Colony. The same year a large 
schoolroom was built, and named * Dudley Hall,' in memory 
of a son of Mr. B. F. Roberts, and in the year 1900 a com- 
modious parsonage was erected. 

With church and school-hall and manse, the equipment is 
well-nigh complete ; but it is doubtful if the spiritual progress 
has kept pace with the material. Church prosperity is not a 
chance product. The laws that govern the reception of 
spiritual blessing are as definite and unerring as the laws that 
regulate the universe, and have to be devoutly studied and 
obeyed. Fervent prayer, expectant faith, surrender of self to 
Christ, and complete loyalty to the Spirit of God, are the 
elementary conditions of a revival of religion. Where these 
are attained, the Holy Spirit descends * as the dew,' and the 
desert blossoms as the * garden of the Lord.* 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


QUEENSTOWN sprang into existence after the * War 
of U mlangeni ' in 1 85 1 - 1 852. The Tembus at Lessey- 
ton, restrained by the Rev. J. C. Warner, continued 
faithful to the colonists and were left in undisturbed 
possession of their land ; but the Tembu clan of 
Mapassa joined the enemy, and at the close of the war the 
British Government confiscated their country — an elevated and 
fertile plateau between the Stormberg and Amatola Mountains, 
and intersected by the Black Kei River. This district was 
divided into farms and given out by Sir George Cathcart on 
what may be called 'feudal tenure,' the farmers receiving 
the farms on condition that they assisted to defend the frontier 
in time of war. 

Sir George Cathcart had plans drawn of the proposed town- 
ship of Queenstown, and to facilitate its defence against the 
attacks of hostile natives, the Market-place was made six-sided, 
and from each angle extended a main thoroughfare, thus 
enabling a battery of guns in the centre to rake every one of 
the principal streets. When Sir George arrived in Grahams- 
town, he sent for Mr. Shaw, and pointing on the plan to a large 
plot of ground, consisting of three erven, said : * Mr. Shaw, 
I propose to transfer that plot of ground to you for a Wesleyan 
church and a school-house. You know that I am a church- 
man, so I have reserved another plot for the Episcopal Church ; 
but I expect you Methodists will be there first.' It did, in 
fact, so happen. Some of the early inhabitants of Queenstown 
were Wesleyans, and, at their request, the Rev. E. D. Hepburn 
then in charge of the mission at Lesseyton, rode over every 
Sabbath and preached in a private room. Queenstown con- 
sisted of one street of about thirty houses. Through the kind- 
ness of Mr. W. B. G. Shepstone, the Civil Commissioner, the 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 



use of the Court House was granted ; and here, under the 
direction of Mr. Hepburn, a congregation was formed and 
steps were taken for the erection of a church on the ground 
given by Sir George Cathcart. The foundation-stone was laid 
by the Rev. W. Shepstone, of Kamastone, in 1853, ^"^ t^® 
building was completed in the following year. During its 
erection, the Rev. H. H. Dugmore was appointed to Queens- 
town, and for some time was the only resident minister, 
adherents of all denominations attending his services. A 
mission house was built next to the church. Mr. Dugmore 
became deeply attached to the Queenstown people and they 
to him. 

In 1 86 1 the congregation having greatly increased, a larger 
church was erected on a site in the 
Market-place. Mr. Dugmore, who 
had removed to Salem, was invited 
to lay the foundation-stone, and when 
the church was finished, two years 
later, he was requested to preach the 
first sermon in it. The Rev. W. C. 
Holden, who had energetically pro- 
moted the success of the undertak- 
ing, was at the last moment struck 
down by serious illness. The Rev. 
W. Impey, the General Superintendent 
at Grahamstown, at once proceeded 
with Mr. Dugmore to Queenstown, 
and, taking up Mr. Holden*s work, 
remained until he had recovered. The 
old church was for a time occupied 
by natives ; but when a church was built for their use on 
the location, it was sold, and the site is now occupied by 
* Barrable Chambers.* 

Queenstown continued to increase in size and in number of 
population, a profitable trade with Kafirland rapidly expanded, 
the architecture of the stores and dwelling-houses improved, 
and by the year 1881, during the twelve years* pastorate of the 
Rev. R. Lamplough, it was felt that a still larger church was 
absolutely necessary. The Wesleyans had shared in the com- 
mercial prosperity of the district, and gave liberally towards 
the scheme. A very handsome and commodious Gothic stone 
church, with a lofty spire, was built in Ebden Street, at a cost 
of £1 2,000, and was named * Wesley Church.' Mr. Lamplough, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



surveying with not a little delight the completed edifice, had 
reason for saying ; * I do not think that there is another such 
Wesleyan church in this country outside Cape Town.' The 
church in the Market-place was sold, and converted into the 
extensive stores now occupied by Messrs. Morum Brothers. 

The Rev. R. Lamplough, whilst in Queenstown, established 
the Methodist Book- Room, which, after a time, was recognised 
by the Conference as an official concern, and in the year 1900 
was removed to Cape Town. 

The Wesleyans in Queenstown did not confine their energies 
to church -building, but gave also considerable attention to 
education. Situated as they were, far from the older towns 
of the colony to which access was both difficult and costly, 
they attempted to provide schools to 
meet local requirements. About 1875, 
chiefly through their efforts, a school for 
European boys was opened at Lessey- 
ton ; but the outlay was heavy, and in 
a few years it was necessary to close it, 
and each member of the managing com- 
mittee had to pay ;^i5o to defray its 
debts. Undeterred by this failure, the 
Wesleyans commenced in Queenstown 
itself a boys' and girls' school, the 
capital for which was raised by deben- 
tures. This school was unable to 
meet its expenditure, and within two 
years it was discontinued, and the Rev. j. e. parsonson. 
buildings were sold by the debenture 

holders. Other persons, however, still hopeful of success, 
purchased them, and, in 1882, reopened them as a granimar 
school for boys. A high school for girls was established 
elsewhere as a separate institution. The boys* school was 
under the headmastership of the Rev. J. E. Parsonson, but 
it had to compete with a public undenominational school, 
assisted by grants from the Government, and its outgoings 
always exceeded its income. In 1886, in order to lessen 
expenses, the two institutions were united under one roof. 
Financial difficulties still continuing, it was decided, in 1903, 
to close the boys' side, and continue the girls' school only, 
under the name of * Queenswood,' which from the success it 
has already attained promises to have a prosperous career. 

In small communities denominational day-schools, unless 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




they can be largely subsidized from church funds, generally 
have a precarious existence, and are often crushed by accumu- 
lating debts. It is patent that the education of the youth of 
a country can never be undertaken by 
the churches alone, for the work is too 
vast to be accomplished by anything 
less than the resources of the nation. 
Public Government-aided schools are 
therefore an absolute necessity, and if 
the churches were willing to lay aside 
their rivalries, the formulation of a 
Christian national system of education 
would not be impossible. 

A handsome parsonage was built at 
Queenstown in the year 1899 during 
the much appreciated ministry of the 
Rev. Philip Tearle. 

The Methodist Church has had in 
Queenstown many excellent laymen, 
among whom the Hon. John Peacock, M.L.C., George Peacock, 
Albert and Stephen Morum, George Barrable, and George 
Edkins, have been the most prominent ; but many others, 
though less known, have been not less 
worthy of honour. 

For many years the most familiar 
face in Queenstown was that of the 
Rev. H. H. Dugmore. After forty- 
five years of active ministerial service 
at Salem, Grahamstown, King Wil- 
liamstown, and Mount Coke, he re- 
turned to the people and the place 
he loved. At Queenstown, he spent 
the last twenty-one years of his life. 
He was a great reader and a true 
student, and had a wide acquaintance 
with the best works on theology and 
philosophy. He could preach with 
equal facility in English and Kafir, 
and wrote over 100 hymns in the 
latter language, which form one-third of the Kafir Hymn- 
book. He was an enthusiastic musician, and his lecture on 
' The Reminiscences of an Albany Settler ' — lecture, songs 
and music, being wholly his own composition — was not only 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



unique, but is still the raciest published account of the struggles 
of the settlers of 1820. He died in 1897, at the ripe age of 

Around Queenstown sprang up a number of smaller Metho- 
dist circuits. 

Molteno, named after the first Premier of Cape Colony, had, 
in 1883, but 150 English inhabitants; and it was a bold step 
when the Rev. T. Spargo proposed that they should erect 
a Wesleyan church to cost ^1,500. In the district round 
Molteno were many prosperous farmers, and Mr. Spargo rode 
from farm to farm collecting donations of money and live stock, 
and so the church was built. But the strain was exhausting, 
the minister had to be withdrawn, and the church was supplied 
from Burghersdorp. In 1890 a second attempt was made to 
occupy Molteno by the Rev. C. K. Hodges, and as the develop- 
ment of the coal mines had been followed by an increase in 
the number of the inhabitants, the attempt was successful. 
Recently a church has been erected at Sterkstroom, which is 
periodically visited. 

Cathcart was made a circuit in 1880, four years after the 
foundation of the town. The farmers were scattered over a 
wide area, the roads in some parts were impassable for vehicles 
and could only be traversed on horseback, the drifts in the 
rivers were often dangerous, but the Rev. T. E. Marsh found 
-the work pleasant and health-giving. He was at the time the 
only resident minister in Cathcart. In 1882 he succeeded 
in erecting a Wesleyan church, and his successor built a 
parsonage, but on such a costly scale that financial embarrass- 
ment followed. The house was sold, and for six years an 
unmarried minister had to be sent. During the pastorate of 
the Rev. F. F. Cosnett, the debt on the church was paid, a 
smaller but neat parsonage was completed, and from that time 
progress has been made, 

Hilton and Whittlesea form pre-eminently a rural circuit. 
In vain will map or gazetteer be examined for the name of 
Hilton. It is neither town nor hamlet, but the centre of an 
enterprising farming Community, where stands to day a Wes- 
leyan church, a manse, and a large boarding-school. The 
farmers who settled in the district at the close of the war of 
1851-52 were of a sturdy, progressive type, but they had 


Digitized by VjOOQI€ 



neither church nor minister. About the year 1875 ^^' Jo^^ 
Weakley, of Queenstown, often rode over and preached to 
them, and he also stated their need to the Rev. W. B. Rayner, 
then at Queenstown, who made Hilton one of his country 
stations. In 1877 the farmers erected for themsehes a church, 
and in the following year the Rev. D. Jones was appointed as 
pastor ; but his health failed, and within twelve months he 
died. Other invalids followed, for Hilton was famous for its 
salubrious climate, and for two years little was done. 

In 1 880 the Rev. G. Weaver was appointed to Hilton. He 
laboured hard, rode far, built a parsonage, and the congrega- 
tion increased. Five years later was felt the first breath of 
revival, and one Sabbath afternoon twelve persons openly 
sought the Lord. Towards the end of 
the year forty-five adults stood up in 
the little rural church to be accepted 
as members. A deep spirituality 
pervaded the service, and financial 
prosperity followed. In 1893 t^® 
Rev. T. Spargo went to Hilton, and 
devoted himself to the establishment 
of a boarding-school with an energy 
which won the commendation of Dr. 
Muir, the Superintendent -General of 
Education. This school has been a 
great boon to the district, and, though 
situated far from any town, has sixty 
boarders besides day scholars. The 
church, built in 1876, became too 
small, and in 1903 the farmers re- 
solved to erect a larger one more worthy of the present 
time. Designs for a church in the Early Gothic style were 
secured, and in the following year the building, costing ;^3,5oo, 
was completed. It is one of the finest country churches in 
Cape Colony. A vigorous piety and unity of effort distin- 
guish the people, and excite the wish that there were many 
Hiltons in the country. The Whittlesea Wesleyan church 
was built about 1880, and nothing has occurred to disturb the 
tranquil flow of its history. 

King William's Town was at first a military fort, for the 
defence of the frontier, but at the end of the War of the Axe, 
in 1846, a township was laid out, which was subsequently 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 





known as the German Village, as many of the inhabitants 

were Germans, who came before and after the Crimean War. 

Partly by purchase and partly by Government grant, a site 

was obtained; but, as little money 

could be collected in consequence of 

the poverty of the people, services 

were held in a little wattle and daub 

structure in Berkeley Street by the 

missionaries from Mount Coke, the 

Rev. J. W. Appleyard being the first. 

The Rev. F. P. Gladwin, after the 

station at Butterworth was burnt 

down, took up his abode in King 

William's Town, and, in 1849, a 

church was built in Durban Street, 

the foundation stone of which was 

laid by Sir Harry Smith, the Govenor 

of the Colony. Six years later this 

proved to be too small for the con- 
gregation, so it was sold, and for 

many years has been a private dwelling. Very near to the 

site of the wattle and daub building a substantial ^tone church 

was built in Berkeley Street, at a cost of ;^2,ooo, and within 
its walls the ministry of the Rev. G. 
Chapman was made a great blessing, 
especially to the soldiers who composed 
the garrison. 

As time passed the town expanded 
in a southerly direction, and it was 
found necessary to open a church in 
Cambridge Road, where one of the 
best features was the Sabbath-school. 
Two churches were now occupied, but 
it was soon apparent that one good 
central building would be more con- 
venient. In 1883, upon a suitable site 
in Alexandra Road, given by Mr. J. 
W. Weir, an admirable school-church 
was built, and the two congregations 
united. The Berkeley Street chapel 

was purchased by the Baptists, and the building in Cambridge 

Road was sold to Dale College. During the ministry of the 

Rev. A. T. Rhodes the present commodious Gothic church 

Digitized byVnOOQlC 



was completed in 1893, ^^^ the previous building was devoted 
to school purposes. Methodism has found a central and 
pleasant home in Alexandra Road; and it is interesting to 
know that close at hand are the magistrates* offices and post 
office, the clock tower of which was erected to the memory of 
the Rev. J. Brownlee, of the Scottish church, who founded the 
first Mission station in Kaffraria on the site of Ihe town, before 
it was even a military fort. A very handsome Wesleyan 
native church has been erected in the town, but nearer the 

In the * Grantee * portion of the neighbourhood about 200 
English farmers settled, who were without any religious pro- 
vision whatever. The Wesleyan ministers rode from farm to 
farm, conducting services, and some of the farmers walked ten 
or fifteen miles to listen to a sermon. A church was built, in 
1862, at Ncera, in the vicinity of which many of the farmers 
resided, and it has been a great benefit. 

East London. — As early as 1848 the Rev. J. W. Appleyard 
came occasionally from King William's Town to preach to the 
few residents ; but when he removed to Mount Coke these 
visits were discontinued. In 1859 the Rev. James Scott 
periodically visited East London from * King,' and preached 
in a small, dilapidated building on the west side of the river 
Buffalo, and the town was known as Port Rex, but it was 
little more than a fishing village. In 1872 the harbour works 
were commenced, and, three years later, the railway was 
begun, which was to connect the coast port with the interior 
towns. The terminus of the railway was placed on the east 
bank of the river, and this transferred the trade and the popula- 
tion from Port Rex to what began to be known as East Lon- 
don, its former name having been Panmure. The building on 
the west side was sold, and the proceeds devoted to the pur- 
chase of a site on the east side, where Mr. J. W^ Weir, of 
King William's Town, offered them a plot of ground with a 
frontage to what is now Waterloo Square, for ;^ioo. The 
inhabitants were few, and money was scarce ; but Mr. Richard 
Tain ton, book in hand, collected ^300, and a church was com- 
menced. In the meantime workmen were arriving in large 
numbers, and, when the church was finished, a congregation 
of 300 persons crowded it to the door.' Some of them were 
Wesleyans from Cornwall, and they brought with them not a 
little of the zeal and hearty psalmody of their native county. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



A choir, exclusively of men, was formed, and the volume of 
sound was * occasionally overwhelming.' The whole work was 
under the care of the Rev. W. B. Rayner, of King William's 
Town, who, with his colleague, the Rev. P. Tearle, assisted 
occasionally by a lay preacher, kept up the Sabbath services. 
This necessitated a weekly drive or ride of seventy-six miles. 

A piece of ground adjoining the church was purchased for 
;^i8o, and on this was subsequently built Wesley Hall — a 
spacious wood and iron structure, which largely contributed to 
the prosperity of the Sabbath-school. It speedily became 
manifest that a resident minister was needed to take charge of 
the expanding work, and in 1876 the Rev. Charles Pettman 
was appointed. The Wesleyan congregation was at the time 
the only English-speaking one in East 
London, and members of all religious 
communities attended the services. 
As other denominations felt strong 
enough to organize churches of their 
own they left — first the Episcopalians, 
then the Presbyterians, and afterwards 
the Baptists. The departure of so 
many persons, combined with some 
unfortunate circumstances, checked 
the growth of the Wesleyan congre- 
gation. East London was yet in a 
village condition, and Oxford Street 
was covered with grass, on which cattle 
grazed in front of the hotel. 

With the advent of the Rev. S. 
Clarke in 1884 new hope was excited. 

The heavy financial^burdens, which were depressing the people, 
were reduced, and a forward movement was inaugurated which 
was nobly sustained by his successor, the Rev. A. H. Hodges, 
who built up a strong and vigorous congregation in the church 
in Waterloo Square. 

The gradual deepening of the water at the mouth of the 
river by dredging, so that vessels of 6,000 tons could enter at 
high tide, was attended with a rapid increase of trade with the 
northern towns and states. The population of East London 
advanced from 7,000 in the year 1891 to 25,000 in the year 
1904, and it became necessary for Methodism to spread out in 
various directions. A small mission hall was opened in St. 
Paul's Road,ywhich has since developed into a well -organized 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




society and a handsome church with a resident minister. Then 
the sea slopes, called * The Beach,' demanded attention, and 
about 1897 tbs Rev. W. J. Hacker secured a site, and built 
Victoria Church at a cost of ;^i,6oo. The result is a good 
congregation, and all the activities of a devoted people. At 
Southernwood a mission hall was secured, where regular 


services are held, and the work will probably develop into 
a flourishing congregation. At Cambridge, a suburb four 
miles to the north) where the population is growing rapidly, 
a church has been erected, and the work is expanding at a 
rapid rate. 

The prosperity of East London was manifest in its numerous 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


imposing commercial stores, and almost palatial public build- 
ings, and the congregation worshipping in Waterloo Square 
felt that their humble place of worship had become obsolete and 
unworthy. A suitable plot of ground in Oxford Street was 
purchased for ;^2,400, and the old site, bought twenty-eight 
years before for ;^ioo, had increased in value to such an extent 
that ;^io,50o were offered for it for business purposes. The 
trustees, however, resolved to lease it rather than sell, and the 
land in Waterloo Square was therefore leased at rentals which 
will meet the interest on ^12,000. On the new site in Oxford 
Street a very fine church, named * Trinity Church,* was erected 
in the year 1904; it is in the Early English Gothic style, and 
possesses a lofty crocketted spire. At the side is a spacious 
hall for the Sabbath- school. The whole 
cost was about ^17,000, and the church 
and hall form one of the most com- 
plete properties in South African 
Methodism. There is every prospect 
that, by the blessing of God, the Metho- 
dist Church will exercise a command- 
ing influence in East London, and take 
a fair share in extending the kingdom 
of Christ. 

Between the Drakensberg Range 
and the coast and islanded, as it were, 
amid native Mission stations, are four 
English circuits, which have been rev. j. wilson. 

formed for the benefit of small trading 

communities, and farmers who have ^settled in the adjacent 
districts. They lie far away from any railway, and are little 
known ; but they keep alive the flame of piety in many 
English families. They are Cala, Umtata, Maclear, and 

The early days of Cala are associated with the names of 
C. J. Levy, Esq., the magistrate, who took great interest 
in making the town healthy and picturesque ; and of the 
Rev. J. Wilson, the first resident Wesleyan minister. Mrs. 
Levy, in 1887, laid the foundation stone of the little church 
which Mr. Wilson succeeded in erecting and opening free of 
debt. He toiled as diligently in visiting the homes of the 
people as he did in the pulpit, and sought to strengthen the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



spiritual life of his congregation. Like Goldsmith's village 
preacher : 

* Remote from towns he ran his Godly race, 
But in his duty prompt at every call, 
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all.' 

His death, in 1891, closed a long and useful career, in which 
he had always been earnest, devoted, doing his utmost to 
promote the cause of Christ and the prosperity of the church 
he loved. 

The first Wesleyans in Umtata were optimistic, for in 1882 
they built a church, costing ;^i,8oo, and left upon it a debt of 
;^i,200 for their successors to defray. 
Perhaps they thought that the annual 
interest would be easily paid, for those 
were the palmy days of Methodism 
in Umtata, when magistrate, mer- 
chants, storekeepers, and professional 
men, in fact, the whole town, attended 
the Wesleyan services. But Umtata 
was selected by the dignitaries of the 
Anglican Church as their headquarters 
for KafFraria. A bishop, a dean, and 
several lesser officials arrived, and the 
presence of so many clergymen in a 
small town containing less than 1,000 
inhabitants made Umtata as eccle- 
siastical as a cathedral close. Church 
rivalries ran high, and there was 
scarcely room for a humble Nonconformist to breathe. Only 
by the untiring efforts of both ministers and people was the 
debt on the Wesleyan church paid off; but, encouraged by 
this success, they contemplate establishing an efficient day- 
school in order to protect their children from some of the 
worst features of ecclesiastical competition. 

When the Rev. W. S. Davis retired from the active work of 
the ministry, he settled at the hamlet of St. John's, near the 
mouth of the river of the same name. Chiefly through his 
exertions a small church was erected in an admirable situation 
within sight of the sea. During the season St. John's is filled 
with visitors, and the little church is then well attended. 
Within a moQth of the opening of the churqh, in 1902, Mr, 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Davis passed to his eternal rest. He was an able Kafir scholar, 
and at Shawbury and Clarkebury he had for many years 
rendered invaluable service in the native educational institu- 

Ugi was originally the head of the present Maclear circuit. 
English farmers purchased Crown lands with the hope that 
the veldt was good for the grazing of stock. Many of them 
were Wesleyans from Albany, and Amms, Dugmores, Trollips, 
and Sephtons, were amongst the settlers. But the winters 
were severe, the rains were heavy and cold, the grass proved 
coarse and in winter innutritous, and the farmers lost heavily. 
Many left, Ugi was almost deserted, and Maclear became the 
circuit town. There a neat church has been erected, and the 
resident minister regularly visits the contiguous places of 
Mount Fletcher, Wainwright, Kenelm, and Waldeck, where 
are still many Wesleyan farmers. 

Kokstad was first inhabited by Griquas, of whom Adam 
Kok was the chief, the clan having removed from the Orange 
Free State. A few 5)^uropean traders were allowed to settle 
in Kokstad, and a small number of Basutos. About the year 
1 868 the Rev. Mr. Kirby began to ride over from Etembeni, 
sixty miles distant, and preach to the Basutos, who built a 
church for themselves. Mr. Kirby also established a school 
for European children. There was no intention to hold services 
for the European adults, to whom the Rev. W. Dower, the 
pastor of the Griqua Congregational Church, preached every 
Sabbath evening. When the Rev. J. Kilner made his tour 
through South Africa, he visited Kokstad, and somewhat hastily 
recommended that the schoolroom should be used on Sabbaths 
for European services, and accordingly the Rev. J. W. House- 
ham was appointed. Friction between the Congregational and 
Wesleyan churches ensued, for in a small town like Kokstad 
there was no necessity for two European congregations. Mr. 
Househam, dissatisfied with his position, asked to be removed, 
and for several years the service for Europeans in the Wes- 
leyan schoolroom was discontinued. 

Meanwhile, during the seventies, there had been a gradual 
displacement of the Griquas, who fell victims to the fascina- 
tions of intoxicating drink, and many of them sold their farms 
for a trivial amount, which was soon spent in * Cape smoke.* 
The process continued in later years, until at the present time 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


of the 1,200 farms once held by Griquas it is said not twelve 
remain in their possession. In 1879 discontent culminated in 
rebellion, headed by Lodowijk Kok. Captain Blyth, in a sharp 
encounter, defeated the rebels, many of whom were killed and 
others surrendered ; about 200 were shipped to Cape Town 
and confined in the Amsterdam battery. Griqualand East 
was annexed to Cape Colony, and the Griquas lost their semi- 
independence. Then followed the Basuto War, and Kokstad 
was made the [^headquarters of the Colonial forces. At the 
close of the war the farms in the vicinity held by the Basutos 
were confiscated, and were occupied by Europeans. 

From many of the new arrivals came a request for the ap- 
pointment of a Wesleyan minister to Kokstad. The Rev. C. J. 
Hepburn was sent, and, notwithstanding his faithful labours, 
the congregation continued small and feeble, due to some 
extent to the mean appearance of the schoolroom in which they 
assembled. But enterprise is awakening. At a recent meeting 
it was resolved to build a church at a cost of £1 ,400, and half 
of the amount was promised. The native congregation fills 
their church to excess, and they have had to enlarge it. The 
night of depression is passing away, and the day of prosperity 
seems to be dawning. 

On the west of the Drakensberg Range are two of the 
highest towns of the colony — Barkley East and Dordrecht — 
neither of which, commercially or in number of inhabitants, 
has expanded, and consequently in both towns Methodism has 
been unprogressive. 

A church was erected at Barkley East in 1884, during the 
pastorate of the R ev. W. B. Foggitt. The interior was made 
lofty to permit of the insertion of galleries at a future period, 
for the hopes of the people as to the prosperity of their town 
were somewhat inflated. Wool was at a good price, trade was 
brisk, and money was plentiful. But with the opening of the 
railway to Aliwal on the^ north-west, and subsequently to 
Dordrecht on the south-west, circumstances changed. Wool 
came no longer to Barkley East, but went to other towns for 
conveyance by rail to the coast, and local trade suffered. Some 
of the congregation left for more profitable places of traffic, and 
the church revenue decreased.^ The district is a very wide 
one, and contains many [enterprising sheep farmers, but in 
order to carry the Gospel to them the Wesleyan church in 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Barkley East has to be closed three Sunday evenings out of 
four. This arrangement is unavoidable but discouraging. It 
does not seem probable that the sanguine anticipations of the 
the year 1884 will be realized. 

Dordrecht has about 800 European inhabitants and three 
European churches — Dutch, Anglican, and Wesleyan. The 
result is that the two latter churches are weak. During the 
ministry of the Rev. Zadok Robinson a Wesleyan church and 
parsonage were built, but financial difficulties followed, and 
both were sold and the town vacated. In 1880 the town was 
reoccupied and a church was erected, but the congregation 
continues small, and there is little success. The real strength 
of the circuit is in the farmers resid- 
ing in the surrounding country. A 
beautiful native church has been built 
in the location, and presented to 
Methodism by Mr. J. K. Stretton and 
his brothers in honour of their father. 
A minister has been appointed to 
Indwe, where a considerable popula- 
tion is engaged in the coal - mine 

Colesberg was occupied by the Rev. 
W. C. Holden as early as the year 
1838. For sixty years and more the 
Wesleyan church has pursued a quiet 
and uneventful but useful career among 
the English residents, and there is little 

to record. During the dark days of the war with the Republics 
the Boers held the town for months, and confined the Rev. A. 
W. Cragg a prisoner in his own house. He was not allowed to 
minister to the sick British soldiers, left in hospital when the 
Imperial forces retired, or to read the burial service over the dead ; 
but Mr. Jones, a Wesleyan layman, was, however, allowed to 
conduct services in the church. Upon the retirement of the 
Boers, after the capture of Bloemfontein, Mr. Cragg regained 
his freedom, and he extended his labours to Norval's Pont, 
Naauwport (where a minister now resides) Hanover Road, and 
De Aar. The circuit is thus a wide one, and to visit the 
various places often necessitates travelling by night as well as 
working by day. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




Between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth along the coast- 
belt are two Wesleyan circuits — Knysna and Oudtshoorn — and 
a recent attempt has been made to occupy Mossel Bay. 

The work commenced in 1887 ^^ Millwood, where gold had 
been discovered in small quantities and in patches. The Rev. 
C. S. Franklin was appointed to minister to the pioneer diggers, 
and he took up his abode in the camp, which consisted of 
a collection of wooden and iron houses. He endured con- 
siderable privations, but did his best to gather around him the 
somewhat reckless men who generally form the majority in 
gold-mining communities. He soon found himself in a position 
to build a church ; but scarcely was it opened, when the rush 
to the Transvaal goldfields drew most of the diggers away, 
and the camp was deserted. In 1889 
a gale wrecked the church and left it 
a pile of useless lumber. 

Soon after the commencement of 
his work at Millwood, Mr. Franklin 
rode over every Thursday to Knysna, 
^ village situated near a land-locked 
estuary fed by the river Knysna, in 
order to preach to the woodcutters 
and a few traders and their families. 
He had to ride fifteen miles over fearful 
roads, through a dense forest tenanted 
by elephants, and down the steep 
* Phantom ' mountain - pass. When 
Millwood collapsed, Mr. Franklin re- 
moved to Knysna. There were no 
Methodists in the neighbourhood ; but 
a number of well-wishers welcomed and assisted him in his 
work, grateful to him for supplying spiritual instruction. The 
change from the bracing mountain air of Millwood, to the 
moist enervating atmosphere of Knysna, so prejudicially affected 
Mr. Franklin's health that the following year he left, and the 
Rev. R. P. Underwood was sent. 

The work began to assume a more organized form. Bible 
Meetings, a Band of Hope, a Mutual Improvement Society, as 
well as the Sabbath services, drew the people together, and 
sortie testified to a gracious change of heart. During the 
residence of the Rev. F. Holmes a pretty church was built, 
the congregation having hitherto met in a hall. The native 
Fingos living in the neighbourhood were visited, and bi-monthly 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


EASTEM districts of cape colony 157 

services held for their benefit. Any great extension of the 
work is impossible, as the population is scattered, and Anglicaa 
and Roman Catholic ministers have entered the field ; but it 
seems to be too valuable to be abandoned. 

Oudtshoorn made an urgent appeal for a Wesleyan minister, 
and when Mr. Underwood left Knysna he removed thither. 
The town is situated on the Grobelaars River in the midst of 
a wealthy and prosperous farming community, chiefly Dutch, 
and its inhabitants belong to many nationalities — Dutch, 
English, German,, and Jewish. Oudtshoorn has a very hand- 
some Dutch church, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, 
and a Jewish synagogue. But many of the residents desired 
the simple worship and evangelical teaching of the Wesleyan 
church, and they gave Mr. Underwood a hearty reception. 
He speedily won the affection of his hearers and the respect of 
the whole town. In 1894 he succeeded in erecting a neat 
church. The work thus commenced has been sustained by 
those who followed .Mr. Underwood, and if each step taken has 
been slow, it has been a step forward. Methodism has a work 
to do in Oudtshoorn which cannot be neglected. 

Kimberley is a town dating from 1870, when diamonds were 
discovered on the farms Dutoitspan and Bultfontein. The 
first diamond was discovered almost by accident. The children 
of a poor Dutch farmer played with a stone which they 
supposed was made of glass. A trader admired it, obtained it 
for the asking, and sent it to Dr. Atherstone, of Grahamstown, 
who pronounced it to be a diamond of the first water. Sir 
Philip Wodehouse, the Governor, bought it for ;^50o. The 
news spread, and the excitement throughout South Africa was 
intense. Visions of rapidly-made fortunes floated before the 
minds of the people and ordinary industries were neglected. 
Thousands of colonists flocked to the diamond fields. Scarcely 
a family but sent one of their number to the Vaal River 
diggings. Doctors, lawyers, editors, graduates of universities, 
farmers, and tradesmen were found in rough garb, handling 
the spade or sorting pebbles at a table, searching for the 
precious gems, which in a moment could make a poor man 
rich. The different parties worked their way up from the 
junction of the Orange and Vaal Rivers, by Pniel and Barkley 
as far as Hebron, carefully prospecting as they went. In 1870 
10,000 persons were scattered along the river banks, their 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


number daily increasing as the news of their * finds ' circulated. 
They lived in small canvas tents, and the * camp ' extended 
from the river to the hills on either side. Hotels, billiard- 
rooms, shops, portrait saloons, private dwellings, were all of 
canvas, supplemented by waggons and reed sheds. For miles 
on both sides of the river the diggers were busy picking and 
sifting the soil, or carting it to the river to be washed. All 
day long could be heard the * rock, rock ' of the cradles, and 
long before dawn the rumble of carts betrayed that labour had 
again commenced. Some diggers made fortunes ; but most 
toiled on, buoyed up with the hope of wealth that never came 
within their reach. The discovery of a diamond, especially if . 
it was a fine one, was followed by the cessation of labour by 
all the neighbouring diggers, and an adjournment to the nearest 
* bar ' to drink the health of the lucky finder. 

Some of the diggers were Wesleyans and endeavoured to 
keep up the forms of religion. The Rev. J. Thorne paid them 
a flying visit, and money was promptly suDscribed to purchase 
a large tent for public worship. In January, 1871, the Rev. 
B, S. H. Impey was appointed to the * diggings,' and he lived in 
a waggon, preaching in the open air, in a billiard-saloon, or in 
a photographic gallery. About July of that year diamonds 
were discovered at Dutoitspan and at Bultfontein, twenty 
miles from the river, and later at De Beers and Kimberley ; 
and though the stones were not of such pure quality as those 
found by the Vaal, they were more abundant. There was a 
rapid migration of the diggers to the * New Rush,' as the dry 
diggings were first called, until the river was comparatively 
deserted. The Rev. B. S. H. Impey followed the people to 
Kimberley and held services in tents or in the open air. 
Towards the end of the year 1871 the Rev. J. Priestley super- 
seded Mr. Impey, and the Rev. James Scott came over from 
Bloemfontein to assist. Services were held by the side of Mr. 
Kidger Tucker's store at the West End, and in the billiard 
room of Smith's canteen, in what is now called Main Street. 
The billiard table was used as a reading-desk and empty 
bottles served as candlesticks. There was a good congregation 
and some of the diggers found true riches in Christ. 

In those days wood and iron had to be carried by the slow 
ox- waggon 600 miles from the coast, at a cost of 3d. per pound, 
and were thus exceedingly costly. Large tents or marquees 
were put up at the West End and at Dutoitspan. By the side 
of one of these Gospel tents stood a canvas canteen, and during 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


the service the congregation could hear quite plainly the orders 
for * whisky and soda/ There were no roads, and sometimes 
after a storm the men had to pick up the ladies as they came 
out and carry them across the pools of water. One Methodist 
digger, having obtained a top hat, was escorted to church as 
the possessor of unwonted dignity. In organizing services in 
several parts of the camp the local preachers rendered valuable 
assistance. One of them still lives at Kimberley, Mr. A. 
Stead, M.L.A. 

The diggers were generous, and in a few months a wood and 
iron church was erected, at a cost of ;^i,ooo, at the West End. 
This was at the time the largest building on the Diamond Fields. 
As the mine was worked, the West End was filled up with 
reef and tailings, and the population drifted to the East End, 
and the site on which Trinity Church now stands was secured, 
and a place of worship was erected. It was not a strong 
structure, and in 1874 ^* ^^^ blown down during a high gale. 
The Rev. James Fish called a meeting, and it was resolved to 
erect a larger and more substantial building. In August, 1875, 
the Hon. Sir H. Barkley, the Governor, laid the foundation 
stone; but the material used in the erection was wood and 
iron. This building is known as ' Trinity Church.' More 
Wesleyan ministers were needed, and the Rev. James Calvert, 
the veteran Fijian missionary, came out from England to 
assist. He was vigorous and enthusiastic, notwithstanding his 
advanced years, and soon won the warm esteem of the people. 
The Rev. Gardener Scates also arrived ; he was an attractive 
preacher, but died of enteric fever in the year 1877. ^^ 
Dutoitspan the canvas tent was replaced by a building of wood 
and iron, the expense being borne by the Good Templars, who 
used the hall for their meetings. 

By the year 1878 the population of Kimberley reached its 
height. When it was discovered that the * blue ' beneath the 
yellow surface soil was rich in stones, and descended to un- 
known depths, the permanency of the diggings was assured, 
but a change in the method of working became necessary. As 
the open mine increased in depth, the falling of reef, and the 
increased difficulties of haulage made the old system of working 
impossible. Deep shafts, underground galleries, pulsators, 
and tramways were introduced, and the individual digger gave 
way to syndicates and companies. These in turn were amalga- 
mated in 1885, chiefly through the efforts of Mr. Cecil Rhodes, 
and the De Beers Company, the largest and richest diamond 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


combination in the world, came into existence. The inevitable 
result was that the population decreased, and whole streets of 
houses at Beaconsfield were left tenantless. Kimberley has 
always been a place of considerable wealth, but it early 
attained its greatest expansion. 

As the diamond industry assumed a more permanent form, 
the dwellings of the residents became more substantial in 
character. The churches shared in the improvement. The 
wood and iron structure at the West End was replaced in 1886 
by a brick building known as * Wesley Church.* It had parapet 
and buttresses, with a good pitched roof, was Gothic in style, 
and was looked upon with not a little pride. In the year 1901, 
the foundations proving defective, it was with considerable skill 
reconstructed. Side aisles were added, the roof was carried on 
arches surmounted by clerestory windows, and now the church 
is one of the prettiest in Kimberley. It is lit by electricity. 

The facihty with which diamonds could be stolen, and the 
great profit to be made by theft, attracted to Kimberley a large 
number of dishonest characters from all parts of the world, 
who found ready tools in the natives employed in the mines. 
Severe repressive measures were adopted by the Legislature, 
and numerous detectives were engaged, but the illicit trade, 
though checked, was not destroyed. After the amalgamation 
of the companies, it was possible to adopt a system which 
almost extinguished the evil. 

Every native who is employed by the De Beers Company 
is required to live in a compound, a quadrangular enclosure, 
not unlike a barrack, with a large, open yard, covered with 
wire netting to prevent anything being thrown over the walls ; 
and eight or ten have been erected, each hplding about 1,000 
natives. From the day of his engagement until the day of his 
discharge the native labourer is not allowed to leave the 
enclosure. Here he is supplied with bed and fuel and water 
free, but he has to purchase his food, and for his supply there 
are shops in every compound. He is thus deprived of some of 
his liberty and the opportunity of stealing stones ; but he is 
protected from the vile attractions of the canteens, and the 
solicitations of thieving scoundrels. A native within these 
compounds has therefore not a bad time. He gets about 
£^ a month ; he buys his food at almost cost price, and the 
hospital is at hand in case of accident or sickness. There is 
no Mrs. Grundy to dictate how much or how little clothing he 
shall wear. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



These compounds furnished facilities for the preaching of 
the Gospel, which could be done only on Sundays, as the 
natives were engaged every day in the mine. It was easy oh 
the Sabbath to get at the men. In 1888 the Rev. J. S. Morris 
was appointed minister to the mines, and for fifteen years he 
was accustomed to preach six or eight times every Sabbath 
within the several compounds. On that day the enclosure 
presented a busy scene. Large fires blazed before the open 
doors of the rooms, the cooking of food was carried on, the 
men chatted, smoked, and played with pebbles or cards — anon, 
a number formed into a dance, and there was the deep roll of 
native songs. The natives came from all parts of South Africa, 
but were chiefly Basutos, Sekukunis, Zulus, Batlapins, Mate- 
beles, and Barolongs. Some of the 
men were Christians, but the great 
mass of them were heathen, as un- 
tutored as in their native kraals. The 
Kafir doctor, with his roots, bones, 
etc., might not unfrequently be seen. 
Various languages were spoken, but 
the great majority understood either 
Xosa or Sechuana. 

The men in the compounds did not 
gather together in anticipation of the 
service. Mr. Morris's plan upon enter- 
ing a compound on the Sabbath was 
first to select a suitable spot, and then 
a friend played upon an instrument, 
or a boy went round ringing a bell, 
whilst he himself went from fire to fire, 
and from group to group, collecting as many as he could 
persuade to join him. Then the service commenced. A few 
who generally sat near the preacher were orderly and reverent, 
but the attitudes of the rest were singularly easy. One man 
patched his trousers, another made rings or bangles, a little 
farther off a group sat round a pot waiting for the preacher to 
finish, when they would eat their food, but all listened more or 
less attentively. These services were sometimes trying, owing 
to the surrounding noise, but God often wonderfully blessed 
them. In some ot the compounds the De Beers Company 
built neat churches, and the meetings held therein were often 
very impressive. During the week Mr. Morris conducted 
educational classes, teaching the men to read and write. It is. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of this work. 
Those who heard the Gospel, and especially those who were 
brought to Christ, carried back with them books, especially 
Testaments and hymn books, in one or other of the native 
languages. Not long ago a native who had been converted 
during his residence in one of the compounds came to 
Mr. Morris for his removal note. Upon being asked, * Where 
are you going ?* he replied, * I am going home near the great 
Zambesi Falls, and am taking with me some books, and when 
my people ask me, What are they ? I shall then explain.* In 
this way the seed of the Word is carried far and wide. 


On July II, 1888, a terrible calamity occurred at the De 
Beers Mine. The timbers to one of the shafts had been 
damaged, and Mr. Lindsay, a mine manager, and six miners 
went down to accomplish the necessary repairs. A few 
minutes after their descent the alarm was given that the 
Friggins shaft, a small vertical one between the 505 feet and 
the 685 feet level, was on fire. There were two inclined shafts 
between the same levels, but the flames must have broken out 
at the bottom of the vertical shaft, for in a very short time 
both the inclined shafts were filled with a dense smoke 
rendering escape by them impossible. There were hundreds 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



of men, European and native, in the mine at the time below 
the fire. An attempt was made to reach Mr. Lindsay by one 
of the inclined shafts, but the men were driven back by the 
smoke in an exhausted condition. The mine was ventilated 
through a small outlet into the old open workings, but this 
was unknown to most of the men below. Providentially, about 
ten o'clock at night, a native discovered this opening, and one 
white man and six Kafirs came through. During the next 
day, 42 white men, and 445 Kafirs were rescued through the 
same opening ; but 24 white men, of whom 23 were Wesleyans, 
and 78 natives, lost their lives. The congregation at Trinity 
Church deeply felt this calamity, and an impressive memorial 
service was held by the Rev. W. Wynne, the resident minister ; 
and another was held at Beaconsfield 
by the Rev. J. S. Morris to the memory 
of the natives who had perished. To 
prevent the recurrence of such a 
disaster, the De Beers Company made 
escape tunnels in several places in the 

From time to time improvements 
were made in Trinity Church. It 
was brick-lined, and in 1887 an organ 
loft was added, and a fine organ placed 
in it at a cost of ;^i,75o. In 1882 
extensive school buildings were erected 
in Woodley Street. Trinity Church is 
endeared to its congregation by many 
sacred associations, but it is intended 
to erect, in the near future, at a cost 
of ;^7,5oo, a church worthy of the traditions of the past, and 
equal to the demands of the future. 

At Gladstone, formerly De Beers, there is a fine Wesleyan 
church, built in 1886; and quite recently, through the efforts 
of the Rev. J. Ward, spacious school buildings, with a central 
hall capable of seating 250 persons, have been completed. 
Facilities for the education of the young and the social work 
of the church have thus been provided. 

The congregation at Beaconsfield worshipped for a time in 
a pJace known as the Old Cock Inn ; but, in 1880, a church 
was built which, in point of size and appearance, was one of 
the finest on the Diamond Fields ; but, with the amalgamation 
of the mines, population steadily decreased, and the congrega- 






tion was reduced in numbers. The work reached so low an 
ebb that many considered the church should be closed. Co- 
incident with the appointment of the Rev. W. H. Clulow, in 
1 90 1, circumstances changed. The 
opening of the Wesselton Mine, and 
the resumption of operations at the 
Bultfontein Mine, led to a steady 
growth in the population, and the con- 
gregation soon felt the benefit. Mr. 
Clulow infused his hopefulness into 
all departments of the work, but the 
church was situated far from the 
homes of the people. In 1904 the 
De Beers Company granted four 
stands in the heart of the township, 
at a moderate rent, and on these a 
church has been erected at a cost 
of ;^2,5oo, and Beaconsfield Metho- 
dism is fulfilling its early promise of 
Many Dutch - speaking coloured people came to the 
Diamond Fields in search of work as grooms, and gardeners, 
and general servants, and for a time Mr. Goch, watch- 
maker and claim-owner, preached to 
them. In 1884 the Rev. W. Pescod 
was appointed their pastor, and for 
twenty years he has been a powerful 
factor in the elevation of this class of 
the f)opulation in Kimberley. The 
Bean Street church, in which they 
worship, had to be enlarged several 
times, and the congregation which 
assembled in it was a noble sight. In 
1903 the church was pulled down, and 
on the same site was erected, at a cost 
of ;^4,75o, a larger and more impos- 
ing building. Day schools have been 
established, and the congregation, with 
its numerous interests, is one of the 
most prosperous on the Fields. 

Kimberley suffered severely during the siege by the Repub- 
lican forces. For 120 days the town was closely invested, and 
egress or ingress was impossible. To the dangers of bursting 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



shells were added the privations of insufficient food. Before 
deliverance came horseflesh was a welcome article of diet. 
The lack of vegetables and the limited supply of other food 
stuffs brought on scurvy. The congregations in the churches 
consisted chiefly of women and children, for the men were 
garrisoning the redoubts which held back the foe. What was 
suffered by the inhabitants during the siege will never be 
known. When the men could not attend the services in the 
churches, the ministers carried the services to the men, and 
preached in the various redoubts and camps. The hospitals 
were regularly visited, and many a sick soldier was cheered by 
their ministrations. The Refugee Relief Committee consisted 
of all the ministers in Kimberley, but both during the siege 
and for some time subsequently the 
burden of the work fell chiefly on 
Archdeacon Holbeach, the Revs. J. 
Scott and William Pescod, and Harris 
Isaacs, the Jewish Rabbi. For nearly 
two years they met weekly, and care- 
fully investigated all cases needing 
relief. They gave food and clothing, 
and helped to provide lodging; but 
their great difficulty was to find em- 
ployment for the men whom the war 
had thrown out of work. Mr. Cecil 
Rhodes, who, on the first rumour of 
war, had hurried to Kimberley, solved 
the difficulty by employing the men in R^^'- J- Thompson, m.a. 
repairing all the roads of the De Beers 

Company. When the war was over, Lord Roberts, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, made honourable mention, amongst many, of 
three Wesleyan ministers — the Revs. J. Scott, W. Pescod, and 
J. S. Morris. Their presence and active help had brightened 
the dark days of a weary and painful siege. 

During the investment, and amid the booming of heavy 
guns, the gentle and loving spirit of the Rev. James Thompson 
passed to its eternal rest. He had broken down in health the 
year previously, and, from the nature of the disease, he knew 
that his work was done, but he was sustained patiently to 
endure. * I am in the Palace Beautiful,' he said, * for I am in 
the Lord's presence.' He was a graduate of the Dublin Uni- 
versity, and for years was a member of the Cape University 
Council. He had marked literary gifts, and was an able 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


preacher, lecturer, and platform speaker. He had been twice 
elected President of the Conference of the Wesle^an Church 
of South Africa. His character is tersely descnbed on the 
memorial tablet placed in the Metroplitan Church at Cape 
Town : * A ripe scholar, an eloquent preacher, a wise adminis- 
trator, a constant friend.* 

In the early days of the Diamond Fields, when, by a stroke of 
the pick, a fortune might be unearthed, a restless, adventurous, 
gambling spirit prevailed, which was unfavourable to religion 
in any form. The race to be rich was keenly contested, and 
few gave more than a passing thought to things of greater 
importance. The fevered search for diamonds absorbed the 
energies of both body and mind, and the Sabbath was little 
observed. The diamond industry is now as free from unhealthy 
excitement as ordinary trade, and men's thoughts are no longer 
strained by endeavours after fabulous wealth. Religion has 
benefited by the change. Kimberley Methodism has within 
its ranks Christian men and women who, for rectitude of con- 
duct in daily life, faithful attention to religious duty, and 
generous help to the needy, are unsurpassed in any town of 
South Africa. 

The work of the Methodist Church amongst the European 
races in South Africa increases every year in importance. The 
dwellers on lonely farms, often far removed from a place of 
worship, and in danger of lapsing into irreligion, need to be 
followed and assisted to make the external quietness of their life, 
and their contact with the silent forces of Nature, a daily aid 
to direct and constant communion with God. The busy in- 
habitants in towns and ports, some of whom have come from 
Methodist churches in other lands, require special attention, 
lest, amid morally enervating influences, they drift away from 
the faith of their fathers. To make and keep our colonial 
Methodist churches spiritual, complete, and aggressive, so that 
colonists shall be built up in vigorous piety, and new-comers 
shall realize that we are one in spirit and aim with the Greater 
Methodism at Home, will do much to knit our people together 
in Christian affection, and enlist their services in our various 
congregational activities. 

Perhaps the message from the pulpit needs to be more 
simple, more direct, and fuller of Christ. The ground-swell of 
controversies with unbelief in other lands scarcely reaches our 
shores, and the great obstacle to the acceptance of a full Gospel 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


is utter indiflference to any form of belief. Multitudes are never 
or seldom found within a Christian church ; but they are weary 
of negations and barren intellectualism. The success which 
has attended the eflforts of the Missioners who have at times 
visited us, reveals that the hearts of men respond to direct, 
earnest, prayerful preaching. Without sacrificing literary 
grace, the preacher has not so much to make or deliver a 
sermon as to * persuade men ' to yield themselves to Christ. 
It was in the application of the Gospel message to the con- 
sciences of men that many of the early Methodist preachers 
were especially successful. They took aim, whereas many a 
modern sermon is accurately described in the poet's words : * I 
shot an arrow into the air ; it fell to earth — I know not where.* 

In some circuits the work makes great demands on the faith 
and energy of the ministers. They have few lay helpers, few 
inspirations drawn from success, and the round of duty is in 
danger of being filled in a dull and lifeless manner. Only as 
they retain firm hold of the sources of their strength in a 
Divine and ever-present Christ can they succeed. All praise 
and thanks to those who, amid depressing circumstances, keep 
bright their own faith, and help others to * a closer walk with 

Visitors from the Home churches have said that in this 
country there is a light sense of sin. But that is not peculiar 
to South Africa: it seems to be characteristic of the age. 
Numbers of persons who listened to John Wesley fell to the 
ground smitten with an overwhelming consciousness of the 
wrath of God. How could their sins be forgiven ? was the 
irrepressible cry of the soul. The same intense feeling throbs 
in Charles Wesley's hymns. The penitent is represented as 
confessing, * Me, the vilest of the race, most unholy, most un- 
clean '; * On me I feel Thy wrath abide '; * Nothing is worth a 
thought beneath but how I may escape the death that never, 
never dies.* Larger views of the Divine Love have given to 
modern religion a sunnier aspect ; but are we not in danger of 
being carried to the other extreme ? Do we not exalt Christ, 
the Man of Sorrows, the Shepherd-Saviour, at the expense of 
Christ, the Divine Lawgiver and Judge ? Does not the general 
conscience treat sin as a blunder ? Where is the deep sense 
of sin*s guilt, its terrible power to delude, its eternal conse- 
quence ? Are not few sermons preached on the necessity of 
conversion ? Are we not satisfied to live without the assinrance 
of God's forgiveness ? The authority of the Bible is lessened ; 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


we are not quite certain about hell, and gloss over the future 
with vague hope. We insist less on spiritual change of heart, 
and resort more to concerts and socials, to build up the church 
of the living Christ. And so Christian life loses its grip, its 
spirituality, and its seriousness, and becomes shallow and gay, 
and powerless to grapple with evil. We need to revert to the 
early ideals of Methodism, if we are to possess the saintliness 
and zeal of our fathers. 

It may be said that it is impossible to retain the early 
Methodist type — changed circumstances necessitate changed 
methods. But whilst our systems may be adapted to the 
altered conditions of society, that which was the glory of early 
Methodism may still be cherished — its insistence upon the 
need of conversion; its exaltation of prayer and Christian 
fellowship ; its incitement to holiness of heart and life ; its joy- 
ous hope of an eternity with Christ. Such teaching made men 
like John Fletcher, whose life was a perpetual benediction ; 
like William Bramwell and Thomas Collins, who were flames 
of fire, and kindled a blaze wherever they went ; like Sammy 
Hick and Billy Bray, whose strength and simplicity of faith 
enabled them to reach the heights of achievement. No fear 
need be felt that, if the standard of Christian life be made high, 
inquirers will be repelled. As Mr. Rendal Harris says : 
* Nothing saves people so quickly as the preaching of a high 
Gospel.* John Wesley says : * I always observe, wherever a 
work of sanctification breaks out, that the whole work of God 
prospers. Some are convinced of sin, others justified, and all 
stirred up to greater earnestness of salvation.* A holy church 
makes a holy community in proportion as it is a holy church. 
O that the power and spirituality of early Methodism may be 
revived amongst us in these later times ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


SEATED at Salem, in his lowly study, the Rev. W. Shaw 
wrote, soon after his arrival : * There is not a single 
missionary between my residence and the northern 
extremity of the Red Sea.' Already his thoughts were 
travelling beyond colonial boundaries, and designing the estab- 
lishment of Wesley an Missions among the Bantu tribes as far 
as Natal. 

In the year 1799 Dr. Vanderkemp, of the London Missionary 
Society, attempted to form a Mission among Gaika's people, 
who dwelt on the lower slopes of the Katberg and Elandsberg. 
The Doctor was a remarkable man, had studied at the Uni- 
versities of Leyden and Edinburgh, and was familiar with 
many of the ancient, and most of the modern European lan- 
gauages. It was his habit, when with the Kafirs, to dress in 
the roughest garb, and appear without hat, shoes, or stockings. 
His object was to conciliate the natives, but the endeavour to 
place himself on their level aroused their suspicion. They 
looked upon him as a spy sent by the Dutch to devise plans 
to get possession of their country and their cattle. Rumours 
reached him that his destruction was intended, and at the close 
of the year 1800, finding that the animosity of the Gaikas was 
increasing, he relinquished the Mission. 

It was not until the year 18 16 that Kafirland was again 
entered by the missionary, when the Rev. Joseph Williams, 
also of the London Missionary Society, with the concurrence 
of Gaika, established himself on the Kat River. With his 
own hands he built a house and a schoolroom, and dug a water 
furrow several miles in length ; he made a dam across the 
river, and cleared ground for cultivation. But these exhaustive 
labours sapped his strength, and in two years he died. No 
successor was sent, and in the war between Ndlambe and 
Gaika the station was plundered and destroyed. 

169 Digitized by LnOOgle 

170 THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,* 1823-1833 

In 1820 the Colonial Government formed a semi-official 
Mission near the Tyumie River, and placed it under the care 
of the Rev. J. Brownlee, of the London Society, and the Rev. 
W. R. Thompson, of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 
that through them communication might be obtained when 
needed with Gaika. But it proved to be highly inexpedient 
for missionaries to hold anything like a political office ; they 
were suspected as Government Agents, and not only was their 
work obstructed, but their lives were endangered. The ar- 
rangement had to be abandoned. 

The whole of South-Eastern Africa was thus occupied by 
numerous tribes of heathen savages, destitute of any Christian 
instruction. To penetrate this spiritual darkness with the 
light of the Gospel was Mr. Shaw's earnest desire. His plan 
was to establish a * chain of Mission stations ' from the Fish 
River to Natal, a distance of 400 miles. His belief was that a 
number of Christian fortresses, within easy distance of each 
other, would enable peaceable incursions to be made into the 
surrounding heathenism. It was the plan of a benevolent and 
statesmanlike mind. 

The natives of the South- East of Africa belonged to the great 
Bantu ( = the people) family, which occupies the Dark Con- 
tinent as far north as the equator. Their colour varied from 
jet black to a light brown. The nose was broad, and the lips 
were usually thick and protruding ; but some have finely-cut 
features, indicating probably a mixture of Arab blood centuries 
ago. The eyes were bright and large, and the teeth were 
regular and of ivory whiteness. The hair was short and 
crimped up into short tufts. Like the men of the Stone Age in 
Europe, they lived in bee-hive shaped huts, which, however, 
were made not of stone but of twigs plastered with clay. The 
Kafirs worked in circles; their huts, their fireplaces, their 
kraals or villages were all circular. Their language abounded 
with clicks, which were supposed to have been derived from 
the Bushmen or the Hottentots. The explanation is that when 
the Kafirs waged war against these races they slew the men 
but retained the women ^as wives, who clung to their own 
language, and gradually imposed the clicks upon their con- 

The Bantu were generally well built, tall, and muscular. 
Their mental capabilities were considerable, and at a Pitso, or 
tribal gathering, they displayed great shrewdness, and in their 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



law cases they argued with skill. They were eloquent in 
speech and patient listeners, but suspicious, kind to their 
families, but not demonstrative. When surprised, they placed 
their hand upon their mouth and uttered an exclamation, as 
* Wow !' A successful lie was considered clever ; it was only 
an offence when found out. 

The division of labour was curious. The men hunted, made 
war, herded the cattle, and milked the cows. The women. 


assisted by the children, made the hive-shaped huts, hoed the 
ground, sowed and reaped the corn, and cooked the food. On 
a journey the women carried the household goods on their 
head and the babies on their back. The men drove the cattle, 
and carried weapons in their hands ready for use. 

At the time of which we write the Bantu were grossly 
heathen. They had scarcely any religious ideas. They had 
no knowledge of God and very little of a future life. They 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

172 THE * CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 

built no temples, made no sacred groves, and had no idols 
before which they bowed down. A profound silence rested on 
the subject of religion. Their only objects of reverence were 
the spirits of dead chiefs, or the oldest Uthlanga, the first great 
chief, to whom the poet Pringle alludes in his poem * Makana*s 
Gathering ': 

• Hark ! 'tis Uthlanga's voice 

From Debe's mountain caves ; 
He calls you now to make your choice, 

Or be for ever slaves. ' 

The Bantu had an inchoate belief that the spirits of the dead 
lived underground in a region of light, where there was no 
sickness, but plenty of food and numerous wives. There they 
received knowledge of what was transacted on the earth, and 
wielded an undefined power over the living, the seasons, and 
the weather. With these spirits intercourse could be held, but 
they were never credited with kindness; oftener they were 
dreaded as causes of misfortune, and were propitiated with 
beef placed in cleft sticks and Kafir beer, both deposited near 
their graves. If not appeased they might send drought and 
sickness on the land. Hence Kreli once offered a sacrifice to 
the * Manes ' of his father, Hintsa, and confessed he had not 
honoured his name sufficiently. There is no evidence that the 
Bantu ever offered human sacrifices. 

Whilst much illness was regarded simply as illness, sickness 
and misfortune were often believed to be due to the interference 
of ancestral spirits, or to magic effected by human agency. 
The bewitching material called * Ubuti * might be a snake's 
skin, a jackal's bone, or a bit of dry dung ; which reminds one 
of the witches' song in * Hamlet,' where 

* Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat, and torigue of dog,' 

are said to make the hell broth. Sometimes sickness was 
supposed to be transferred to an article, as a thorn, or a lizard, 
and anyone touching it would contract disease. To discover 
this bewitching material, and the culprit, the witch-doctor was 
employed. Frequently he was a political engine in the hands 
of an unscrupulous chief, who, if he feared a powerful subject, 
or coveted the cattle of a wealthy one, secretly instructed the 
witch doctor to accuse the offender of witchcraft. The victim 
was immediately seized, and subjected to the most revolting 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 173 

cruelties, to make him confess where he had hidden the sup- 
posed bewitching stuff. A native who was charged with having 
caused the illness of some of Kreli*s children was pegged to 
the ground on the broad of his back, and hot stones were 
placed to various parts of his body. When he was allowed to 
rise the flesh fell from his legs, and after staggering a short 
distance his brains were mercifully knocked out. Upon the 
death of the victim his cattle became the property of the chief. 
In another case a man charged his wife with having bewitched 
him, and she was fastened down to the ground by her hands 
and feet, then she was sprinkled with water, and over her were 
thrown fierce black ants, which, creeping into her mouth, and 
eyes, and nostrils, inflicted the most excruciating pain. This 
torture was continued for days, until life was extinct. Such 
cruelty was revolting, but not wholly irrational. Dr. Fairbairn, 
in his work, * The Philosophy of the Christian Religion,* has 
pointed out that to believe a given person has over nature or 
the spirits of the dead a secret compelling power, and can 
make them torment or kill an enemy, or injure his health, was 
in former days to believe that here was one whom common 
justice could not punish or ordinary laws control. He must 
therefore by any process, however brutal, be promptly cut off" 
from life. Belief in witchcraft, whether in England or Kafir- 
land, was always attended by a blind fury which nothing less 
than the death of the supposed witch could pacify. 

The witch doctors were credited with the power of making 
rain, to secure which they sometimes killed birds having bright 
red breast feathers, and threw them into the river, or they 
sacrificed oxen to appease the offended ancestral spirits, who 
in their anger had caused the drought. The dress of the witch 
doctor was bizarre. He, was clothed with the skins of wild 
animals, and with an abundance of tails and feathers. In his 
cap was placed a goat's gall-bladder, and round his neck was a 
necklace of leopard's teeth, or small antelope's horns. When 
engaged in finding out a culprit, he often indulged in a dance, 
working himself into a frenzy, in which state he was supposed 
to receive messages from the dead. 

Youths were introduced into the privileges of manhood by 
the rite of circumcision. The ceremonies connected with the 
custom lasted for three or four months, during which they 
dwelt apart in the bush ; they smeared themselves with white 
clay and wore a fringe of dried grass around their waists. 
They spent their time in eating and dancing, and some of the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



closing scenes were grossly polluting and immoral. An 
analagous custom was observed at the coming of age of girls, 
and was attended with such indecency that any vestige of 
modesty remaining was destroyed. Polygamy was practised, 
and, practically, wives were bought with cattle, the payment, 
or * ikazi,* being from ten to a hundred head, according to the 
rank or beauty of the bride. The women attached great 
importance to this custom of * ukulobola '—liked to feel they 
were worth so many head of cattle, and thought they were 
disgraced if they were given away for nothing. The husband 
might turn on his wife and tell her she was * only a cat,' the 
one living thing natives never buy. Girls were often disposed 


of without the slightest knowledge on their part, generally to 
the man who offered most cattle — not unfrequently an old 
polygamist who, being rich, could outbid the young men. If 
a girl resisted, which was a rare occurrence, she was punished 
until she submitted. The wife, however, did not become the 
chattel of her husband, for she could not be sold. In one way 
the * lobolo ' cattle acted as a salutary check. If the husband 
ill-treated his wife beyond condonation, she was justified in 
returning to her father's protection, and the husband lost both 
wife and cattle. If the wife misbehaved, she lost caste, and 
was sent back to her father who had to deliver up the cattle to 
the injured husband. In either case the woman could not own 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 

THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,* 1823-1833 175 

anything, even though earned by her own labour. She was 
something * better than an ox ; a little dearer than a horse.' 

From Kafir corn or from mealies (maize), the Bantu made 
a thick acid beer called * utywala,' which, taken in moderate 
quantities, was nutritious ; but drunk to excess was intoxicating, 
and the cause of many quarrels. The principal food was 
mealies and sour milk. Meat was a luxury only eaten on 
special occasions. In order to keep the body cool, and as a 
protection against the sun and rain, it was smeared with fat 
mixed with red clay. Some of the natives were skilful in 
working copper and iron, and made assagais, anklets, picks, 
and hoes. Beer-pots and grain-jars were made of clay. 

The Bantu were divided into tribes and clans, ruled by 
hereditary chiefs, whose power over the lives of their subjects 
was almost absolute. A nod of condemnation and the offender 
was promptly slain. The chiefs were therefore dreaded and 
flattered. At a dance one of Kreli's men stood forth, and thus 
sang the praises of his chief : * His eyes are like the sun, his 
body is as large as the earth, his people are as numerous as the 
blades of grass, and the milk of his cattle is like the ocean.* 
This was the usual style of complimenting a chief. 

The Bantu tribe, dwelling nearest the frontier of the colony 
in 1820, was the fierce Ama-Xosa, which consisted of two 
prominent clans — the Gaikas, who lived inland among the hills, 
and the Gcalekas, who lived near the coast, between the Fish 
River and the Kei— their two most powerful chiefs being 
Hintza and Ndlambe. There were many sub-clans, amongst 
which were the Gonuquabi, under Pato. To the north of the 
Kei dwelt the Tembus ; and beyond St. John's River, near 
the coast, were the Pondos. Inland, about the base of the 
Drakensberg, were located several small but warlike clans — 
the Pondomisi, the Ama-Baca, and the Xesibe. Between 
these several tribes there was frequent deadly strife, the chief 
object of war being not so much to conquer each other as to 
capture cattle. 

The condition of the Bantu when first sought by the 
missionary was thus deplorable. They had no idea of God. 
Nature in all her grandeur had no message of a Creator. 
* They looked on the sun with the eyes of an ox.' They knew 
little of a future state of existence. They were fierce, cruel, 
and licentious. They went in terror of their own superstitious 
beliefs. Their lives were at the mercy of a suspicious chief or 
a revengeful witch doctor. They were * without God and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

176 THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,* 1823-1833 

without hope in the world.' As one of them said to a 
niissionary, after the Gospel had brought him a new life : * You 
found us beasts and not men.* 

In July, 1823, Mr. Shaw set out from Grahamstown to 
explore Kafirland. He had made an attempt the previous 
year ; but, after visiting Gaika, was compelled to return in 
consequence of the failure of his horses. He was now accom- 
panied by Mr. Shepstone as surveyor and builder, and by 
Tsatsoe as interpreter, who carried a heavy musket as a defence 
against wild animals. Up to the border of the colony they 
followed the tracks of waggons ; but beyond, they had to find 
their way as best they were able through forest and jungle, 
over mountains and across rivers. Mr. Shaw's aim was to 
reach the Gcalekas, amongst whom no Mission had been 
attempted. The Gaikas, he considered, had received, however 
limited, a Gospel call from Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr, Williams, 
and he sought a people hitherto untouched by Christianity. 

After a journey of 100 miles, they arrived at the kraal or 
village of Pato, with whom lived his brothers Kama and Kobi. 
They were greeted with the usual questions : * Who are you ? 
Where do you come from ? W^hat do you seek ? What is 
the news ?' The chiefs welcomed Mr. Shaw and his companions 
with pleasure. The following day the councillors of the tribe 
assembled, and to them Mr. Shaw explained at length the 
purport of his visit. After a long discussion over the novel 
proposal, full consent was given to the establishment of a 
Mission amongst them. The prevailing idea seemed to be that 
a resident missionary would add to their political importance, 
and provide an easy method of communication with the 
Government. Kobi rode round the neighbourhood with Mr. 
Shaw to assist in selecting a site for the station where wood 
and water and land for cultivation could be secured. This 
done, Mr. Shaw left for the colony to fetch his family ; but was 
followed by the parting request of Pato : * Make haste ; we 
shall strain our eyes in looking out for your arrival.' 

Attempts were made both at Grahamstown and Salem to 
dissuade Mr. Shaw from undertaking so hazardous a Mission. 
*The country is disturbed, the Gaikas have just carried off 
many cattle from European farmers and killed the herdsmen. 
The probabilityv is that the natives will not respect the lives 
either of yourself or any of your family. Besides, is it wise to 
desert the infant churches in Albany for ferocious savages?' 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 321 

60 per cent, of the natives of South Africa are still heathen. 
This mass of human beings, degraded by centuries of super- 
stition and war, debased by polygamy and witchcraft, furnishes 
an unlimited field for evangelistic effort. 

It is impossible to leave them alone in their heathenism, as 
some advocate. In many ways, and especially at the mines 
and seaports, the natives come into contact with the European, 
and they more readily acquire his vices, which meet their view 
everywhere in the public street, than imitate his virtues and 
sobrieties. As the Commission on Native Affairs pointedly 
states ; * It must be accepted as an axiom that contact with 
what we are accustomed to regard as civilization has a 
demoralizing tendency as its first effect on primitive races. 
The native is year by year becoming familiar with new forms 
of sexual immorality, intemperance, and dishonesty, and his 
natural imitative disposition, his virility, and escape from home 
and tribal influences, provide a too congenial soil for the cultiva- 
tion of acquired vices.' The Kafir has centuries of barbarism 
behind him, and it cannot be surprising that he is unstable in 
character. Often after a fpw months' employment, and not 
unfrequently without any ostensible reason, he forsakes his 
work and goes back to the lazy life of the kraal. It is in this 
moral instability, and not in intellectual capacity, that the 
natives are deficient. We may not leave them alone. As a 
Christian people, we cannot shake off the * white man's burden ' 
of responsibility. We have to cure, and not to increase, their 
natural immoralities ; we have to correct, not perpetuate, their 
habits of capricious and spasmodic labour. To neglect them, 
to exclude them from the influences of Christianity, is to make 
them * a menace to civic peace, a reproach to our consciences, 
and a festering source of corruption for our children.' 

It is idle to say that commerce will raise up a new Africa. 
Where humanely and lawfully carried on, trade has produced 
beneficial results. But often it has no lofty ideals, and a poor 
morality. In past years trade made no effort to check the 
tortures and bloodshedding and superstitions of heathenism, 
but in the lust for gain it often debased the natives by selling 
them vile intoxicants. Trade has little educative force, and 
the wonders of civilization, the telegraph and the telephone, 
the photograph and the phonograph, do not inform, but only 
perplex the native mind. They are looked upon as specimens 
of the white man's wizardry. Even the simple implement, 
the plough, was not appreciated by the natives until the Chris- 
Digitized by LnOtjQlC 

322 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

tian religion had 'aroused in them a conviction that it was 
unmanly to leave the sole cultivation of the land to be done by 
women, many of them with infants on their backs. The new 
man, who can understand the value of trade and the benefits 
of civilization, is a Christian product. 

Even scholastic education, valuable as it undoubtedly is in 
raising the standard of intelligence and material comfort, needs 
to be co-ordinated with moral and religious instruction. The 
complaint has frequently been made that education makes 
many of the natives restless and ambitious. If that is true, it 
is because in the acquisition of knowledge the formation of 
character has lagged behind. * Knowledge,' as Lord Selbome 
says, * is tools '; but tools in unskilful hands may inflict serious 
injuries. Character, or in other words the power to use know- 
ledge aright, lies in the cultivation of reverence, self-reliance, 
humility, independence of thought, integrity ; and if these are 
neglected, knowledge often puffs up, and gives the natives 
inflated ideas of their own ability. It is some safeguard that 
most of the native education is imparted in State-aided mission 
schools in which moral training is not neglected. 

We have pleaded that the education of natives should 
include industrial training, in which they can learn the various 
arts needed to improve the conditions of their daily life. In 
old civilized communities tradesmen and mechanics abound, 
and it is easy for a youth to acquire the mastery of a handi- 
craft. Among the natives are no such facilities, and for the 
present, and probably for years to come, trade schools will 
have to supply trainmg in agricultural and mechanical arts. 
The native has abounding energy, though it is fitful; and 
before the European came he found exercise for his faculties 
in hunting, war, and tribal politics. But new conditions have 
closed this field of activity, and if he is to be saved from besotted 
idleness, other outlets for individual energy must be provided. 
The Native Affairs Commission, from whose valuable report 
we have already quoted, says, * Workshops and school-farms 
in connection with elementary native schools should receive a 
special measure of encouragement and support ; but such aid 
should be conditional upon the payment by the students of 
fees, bearing some reasonable proportion to the cost of their 
board and education. . . . The Commission is impressed 
with the advisability of establishing a native college, for 
the efficient and uniform training of an increased number of 
native teachers, and the provision of a course of study in this 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AM ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 3^3 

country for Jsuch native students as may desire to present them- 
selves for the Higher School and Univjersity Examinations.' 
Emphasis is added to the last suggestion by the fact that each 
year, in the absence of such a college, native parents are send- 
ing their sons to the United States to be educated in negro 
colleges, from which they return with a smattering of know- 
ledge, and a more or less bitter race hatred, which may be 
excusable in a Georgian or Carolinan negro, but is unjusti- 
fiable in a South African native. At a college in this country 
they would acquire the education they desire, and presumably 
would learn to appreciate the privileges and duties of British 

But the elevation of the native races depends chiefly and 
finally on their acceptance of Christianity. Notwithstanding 
that some converts do not at once cast off the sins which, 
when they were heathens, were not looked upon as moral 
offences, there can be no dispute that the great majority of 
Christian natives are examples of purity and integrity. The 
Christian religion does not debase, but exalts and refines. 
Christ is the centre of Christianity, and shows what we feel 
God is, and what we ought to be. He is the Source and 
Sanction of all goodness, and wherever He is accepted and 
loved, men try to be like Him. Jesus Christ is the greatest 
moral and spiritual force in the world. That the native races 
are to be won to Christ is more than a pious dream. The 
Gospel that from the lips of twelve labouring men overturned 
the stubborn paganism of the Roman Empire is equal to 
accomplishing the full triumph of missionary enterprise. The 
rate of progress may depend, as history shows, largely on the 
character of the Christianity of those who call themselves 
Christians. The purer, the more prayerful, the more humane, 
the form of Christianity they present, the more rapid will be 
the acceptance of the Gospel by the heathen population. If 
missions fail, or partly fail, the failure will not lie wholly with 
the missionaries employed, but will have to be shared, and 
largely shared, by the European churches. 

But there is no need that missions should fail. The work 
is the Lord's, and behind every missionary is the Divine 
Presence and promise of final success. Never at any previous 
period have missionary operations been attended, with greater 
spiritual results. The complaint of former times that 
heathenism was hard and" unyielding is seldom heard now, 
and there is often a joyful note of triumph over increasing con- 

Digitized by LJCTDv IC 

5^4 A^ ERA OF ^DUCATtOM, 1875-1905 

versions of heathens to Christ. New churches are efected and 
paid for ; leaders and -local preachers are devoted, and classes 
are well attended; women's meetings are raising the life of 
the churches; and, greatest marvel of all, the women form 
themselves into bands, visit heathen kraals, and by their 
addresses strike heavily at prevalent secret vices. The cry 
for the Word of Life is heard on every side. On some stations 
purity lodges are formed amongst the native women, who go 
from hut to hut dealing with individuals. The women refuse 
to make Kafir beer, and polygamy is discouraged. There is a 
general desire for knowledge, and schools are being multiplied. 
It may be said that only the fringe of heathenism has been 
touched, and that around our oldest mission stations are still 
thousands of natives sunk in degrading superstitions. But 
the Gospel is leavening even these with its purifying and 
saving influence. The horrible cruelties of witchcraft, the 
savage raids and counter-raids with the reckless loss of human 
life, the immolation of men and women at the death of a chiefs 
are all things of the past. The many tribes of South Africa are 
being uplifted by the Gospel to the high level of a Christian 
civilization. If to some the progress appears to be slow, let 
us remember we are not thrusting out a pier into the sea : we 
are striving to raise a continent. The uplifting force is not 
ours, but God*s, though as Methodists we may fitly pray that 
we may be not unworthy successors of the missionary heroes 
and saints who led the way. Christ sits on His throne, and 
that assurance should calm our hearts and stimulate us to 
greater exertion. 

* All things grow sweet in Him ; 
He draws all things into an order fair : 
For He alone it is that brings 
The fading flower of our humanity to perfect blossoming. ' 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


TOWARDS the end of the year 1821, in the heat of a 
South African summer, the Rev. S. and Mrs. Broad- 
bent set out from Lilyfontein, in Namaqualand, for 
remote Bechuanaland, where they had been directed 
to form a mission. Mr. Broadbent was a tall, noble- looking 
man, and as brave as he was gentle. The journey was one 
that few would even now care to undertake, for it lay through 
the northern part of Namaqualand and across Bushmanland, 
one of the most desolate and barren regions on the face of the 
earth. Rain seldom falls, and the air is dry in the extreme. 
As far as the eye can reach stretch vast plains of sand, crossed 
by rugged lines of rock. The vegetation is sparse, stunted, 
and spinous. As day after day Mr. and Mrs. Broadbent 
pursued their journey, not a living creature was seen beyond a 
few quaggas and ostriches. The rays of the sun at mid-day 
burnt like flame. At times the sufferings of the oxen were 
intense. Often for days together no water could be obtained 
to quench their thirst, and frequently an ox would fall to the 
ground to rise no more. * We ascend a low eminence,* wrote 
Mr. Broadbent, * hoping to see some relief ; but there is the 
same sickening aspect — sand, sand, and nothing besides.' 

The travellers arrived at the Orange River, and crossed at 
Bishop's Ford, and then they traversed the dry district of 
Western Griqualand. After a painful journey, they arrived at 
Griquatown, where they received a cordial welcome from the 
Rev. Mr. Helm, of the London Missionary Society. 

During the journey, in descending a rocky kloof, and whilst 
Mr. Broadbent was endeavouring to steady the descent of the 
waggon, the chain that locked the hind-wheel broke, and he 
was thrown violently forward, and received serious internal 
injury. His i^reiigth left him, he became weak as a child ; 
and when twQ nionths' rest at Griquatowp brought no ini- 

3^5 Digitized by LnOOgle 



provement, it was resolved, as the only hope of recovery, to 
take him to GraafF Reinet for medical treatment. 

The Dutch Reformed minister at GraafF Reinet, the Rev. A. 
Faure, heard of Mr. Broadbent's approach, rode out to meet 
him, climbed into the waggon where he lay, cheered him with 
his sympathy, accompanied him into the town, ordered the 
waggon to be driven into the manse yard, and then stood at 
the manse door with his wife to receive his guests. Under 
that hospitable roof Mr. Broadbent lay for six months, hover- 
ing, as it were, between life and death. For this prolonged 
hospitality the Rev. A. Faure refused to accept any remunera- 
tion. He dismissed the obligation with the generous reply, 
* I have only done my duty. Indeed, 
the obligation is on my part. I am 
grateful for the profitable conversations 
which I have had with my afflicted 

The Rev. T. L. Hodgson having 
arrived from England, and Mr. Broad- 
bent's health being restored, the two 
missionaries started for Bechuanaland. 
It was a strange journey, for they had 
no definite destination. The country 
was little known. They were advised 
to seek a tribe of Barolongs, of which 
Sifonello was the chief ; but where he 
and his people dwelt no one could tell. 
So, like Abraham, they set out, * not 
knowing whither they went* 
The missionary party crossed the Vaal River on rafts, and 
kept along its right bank in a north-easterly direction. After 
several days* journey they saw a cloud of dust rapidly approach- 
ing, and with it came the lowing of hundreds of cattle, the 
bleating of sheep and goats, which were being rapidly driven 
along by a multitude of men, women, and children, whilst a 
host of armed warriors brought up the rear. Amid the noise 
and confusion they inquired who they were, and who was their 
chief. The reply was given, *We are Barolongs, and our 
chief is Sifonello, and we are fleeing from the Mantatees, who 
have suddenly attacked us. Part of our people have fled with 
Sifonello in one direction, and we have fled in another with 
the chief *s brother, Tsabalira.* The missionarifs were amazed, 
§eein^ a providential ^uidange whe^e they had scarcely hoped' 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



for any, and discovered that the people whom they had been 
seeking had been driven, by the calamities of war, close to 
their encampment. 

Towards evening a fine-looking body of warriors arrived, and 
cried out, * Tsabalira ! Tsabalira !' as if announcing a great 
chief. Opening their ranks, they revealed a tall, strongly-built 
man armed with shield, battle-axe, and assagais, who advanced 
to interview them. An interpreter having been obtained, the 
missionaries explained the object of their visit to the country. 
Tsabalira seemed pleased, assured them his brother would give 
them a hearty welcome, and then, with true native hospitality, 
gave them for food an ox, a heifer, and two sheep. 

In order to avoid the fierce Mantatees, who might be follow- 
ing in the track of the fugitives, the missionaries turned south- 
ward into a wooded district, and there they remained until it 
was safe to resume their journey. The miseries inflicted by 
war met their gaze every day. A little girl, left to perish of 
hunger, was found in a deserted hut. She was a mere skeleton. 
Mrs. Hodgson fed her back to health, and Orphena, as she was 
baptized, became a faithful and trusted servant. A youth was 
found so weak that, when set on his feet, a light wind over- 
threw him. He was nourished and cared for, and afterwards 
rendered valuable help. He was the first Barolong convert to 
Christianity. He accompanied Mr. Broadbent, nursing him 
in sickness, until his departvure to England. He then removed 
to Thaba Nchu, where he preached, and taught, and managed 
the printing-press, and lived to the year 1904, a class leader 
and a local preacher of the old Methodist type. His name was 
John Liratsagae. 

In this wooded retreat the missionaries employed their time 
in acquiring a knowledge of the Sechuana language. Every 
ascertained term was carefully written down. Naturally, one 
of the first phrases learnt was * Tlha koano ' (Come here), 
which proved of unexpected value. A small body of Mantatee 
warriors discovered the missionary encampment, and ap- 
proached with hostile intentions. Mr. Broadbent, looking out 
of the back of the waggon, saw them advancing, and, desirous 
of conciliating them, shouted out the only greeting in their 
tongue that he knew — * Tlha koano.' In a moment every 
weapon was lowered ; each warrior took a step backward, sud- 
denly turned, and then ran as for life. Never having seen either 
waggons or white men before, they fled and told their country- 
men that * they had seen houses walking, full of white devils.' 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


One morning all the oxen were missing. Upon search 
being made for them, the footprints of men and dogs were 
traced, as if in pursuit. There could be only one conclusion : 
the oxen were stolen. Mr. Hodgson and a few servants started 
to find Sifonello, and procure his assistance in recovering the 
stolen cattle. The district abounded at the time with wild 
beasts, and one night, so terrible was the roaring of the lions, 
that the servants, after hastily making a thorn fence, left Mr. 
Hodgson to his fate, and took refuge in some adjacent trees. 
In this peril Mr. Hodgson knelt down and pleaded with God 
for preservation. When merning broke, it was found that 
outside the frail thorn fence the ground was torn up by the 
claws of the lions, who all night had careered round and round, 
without being able to enter, Mr. Hodgson's retreat. 

Mr. Broadbent, in his little work, * The Barolongs of South 
Africa,' adds the following interesting statement : * My esteemed 
colleague had laboured in the Retford circuit in Nottingham- 
shire, and by the congregations he was revered and loved. 
Among these one was named Thomas Willey, a local preacher, 
who showed a warm affection towards his pastor. At the 
period referred to, Mr. Willey was remarkably impressed by a 
dream that his friend in Africa was in some great peril. He could 
not account for his dream, and tried to compose himself again, 
but could get no rest. So he rose from his bed and prayed, if 
his friend was in danger, that God would be his shield and 
protector. Several months afterwards it was found, on com- 
paring dates, that the time of Mr. Willey's dream was the 
same as that of Mr. Hodgson's danger and deliverance from 
the lions.' Such a narrative presents no difficulty to the 
believer in the teaching of Scripture that prayer is one of the 
instruments by which God accomplishes His purposes. 

The stolen oxen were abandoned by the thieves, and found 
by Sifonello's men in the open veld. So the waggons were 
once more in motion ; and, led by Sifonello himself, the mis- 
sionaries journeyed to the place where the tribe was dwelling. 
* The chief, wrapped in his skin kaross, and carrying his shield, 
assagais, and umbrella, which was made of ostrich feathers 
fastened on a stick, crowned with Mr. Hodgson's hat, marched 
in front with great dignity, accompanied by his son, Moroka, 
and fourteen warriors fully armed. Thus were the heralds of 
the cross welcomed to the country of the Barolongs.* 

For a time the wandering habits of the people rendered it 
impossible to form a station. The missionaries lived in their 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


waggons, and preached the Gospel as opportunities arose. On 
spiritual subjects the Barolongs were intensely ignorant. Their 
inquiries revealed the materialistic character of their ideas of 
God : * Where is He ? How big is He ? Has He any hair ? 
How many wives has he ?' In war or barter they were 
courageous and shrewd ; but of spirit as opposed to matter, 
and of a spiritual world, they had but a faint idea. 

Doctrinaires who talk of the innocent child of Nature only 
betray their ignorance. Barolong parents would bring their 
own children to the missionary and offer to sell them for a few 
beads. Perceiving a fire in a wood, Mr. Hodgson quietly 
approached, and was horrified to find two women cooking the 
leg of a human being ; and, unabashed by his presence, they 
ate the flesh with greediness, and broke the bones on a stone, 
sucking them with delight. Fierce hunger had made them 
for the time cannibals. The Barolongs had no God, no temple, 
no Sabbath, and no worship. They had no book, no writing, 
and no knowledge of letters. They had no marriage tie. 
Women were exchanged, and bought and sold, and given 
away as presents, and cast off in mere caprice. War was 
their sport, and cattle their spoil. The country was in a state 
of constant unrest, and whole tribes were at times completely 
destroyed. Agriculture was impossible, for the sower never 
knew that he would reap the fruit of his toil. Christianity 
brought peace and the blessings of civilization to the native 
races, and lifted their thoughts out of the narrow circle of their 
barbarous and degrading pursuits up to the eternal God and 
to everlasting life. 

Sifonello decided to settle at Makwassi, in a range of moun- 
tains north of the Vaal, and not far from the present town of 
Klerksdorp. Huts were erected, cattle kraals were made, and 
soon a populous town arose. The missionaries built with their 
own hands two small cottages, dragging stones from the rocks, 
^jggii^g foundations, cutting timber, building walls, making 
doors and window frames, and thatching the roofs with grass. 
The buildings were rough, but, after residing for months in a 
waggon, the missionaries thought they were almost like 

Mission work was prosecuted amid many difficulties. The 
language had to be learned, and then reduced to printed form. 
Mr. Levick, of Sheffield, sent a case of type, some ink, and 
printing balls ; and with these aids Mr. Broadbent printed the 
alphabet and words of two or three letters for use in the school. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


A more ambitious attempt was a little book of fifteen pages, 
containing very elementary lessons in the language, no copy of 
which, unfortunately, now exists. The services were held in 
the open air, and the Sabbath was observed as a day of rest. 
Nor was the material improvement of the Barolongs neglected. 
They were taught to cultivate the ground, to grow wheat, and 
to find water underground by digging wells. At the sight of 
a bucket of water drawn up from below, Sifonello was aston- 
ished. At first he looked on the water as magical or poisonous, 
but, being persuaded to taste, he exclaimed : ' How cool !' 
Within two months there were eight wells in different parts of 
the town, dug by the natives themselves. One unexpected 
result was that the influence of the rain- makers declined. 

The fierce Mantatees, to the number, it is said, of 50,000, 
still roamed over the country, carrying death and desolation 
wherever they went. They had been driven southward by 
the still fiercer Matabele, and, pressed by hunger, had assailed 
several tribes in order to despoil them of their cattle. The 
towns of Mokanning and Latakoo had been destroyed, and 
this vast horde was advancing on Kuruman. The Rev. R. 
Moffat hastened to Griquato.wn and secured the assistance 
of about a hundred and fifty mounted Griquas armed with 
muskets, and led by Andries Waterboer. The combined 
forces of Griquas and Bechuanas attacked the Mantatees 
near Latakoo, and a long, fierce fight ensued. The Bechuanas 
soon retreated, but the Griquas adopted the tactics that the 
Dutch burghers subsequently employed with such success. 
Riding up to the foe until they were within musket range, they 
poured in a deadly volley, then retired to reload, and so on for 
hours, until several hundreds of the Mantatees had been killed, 
and the whole Mantatee force fled before *the thunder and 
lightning ' of the Griquas. The defeated army retired towards 
Swaziland, and happily they missed Makwassi, which for the 
time escaped destruction. 

Orders came from London in 1824 that Mr. Hodgson was 
to remove to Cape Town, a change that neither he nor Mr. 
Broadbent approved of. About this period there was consider- 
able uncertainty as to the appointments of several of the 
missionaries. Expenses were incurred and valuable time was 
lost by unnecessary and apparently useless changes. As the 
Rev. Richard Watson wrote, * There was danger of too much 
rambling in Africa* But the rambling was caused by the 
absence of any intelligent plan of operation. Mr. Hodgson 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


had won the confidence of the Barolongs, and had partially 
acquired the language ; whilst to Mr. Broadbent the separation 
was almost as painful as death. ' When the waggon moved 
off from Makwassi/ wrote Mr. Broadbent, * myself and my 
wife sat and wept for a long time, feeling as if we were suffer- 
ing a bereavement.' The Rev. J. Archbell, then at Lily- 
fontein, was appointed to succeed Mr. Hodgson, but before he 
could arrive Mr. Broadbent's health again broke down. The 
old injury received on the Namaqualand journey, the diet of 
flesh and milk on which they had been obliged to subsist for 
months, without any farinaceous food or vegetables, the de- 
pression of loneliness, brought on a severe illness. One night 
it was deeply impressed upon his mind that he must leave. 

* Something says forcibly to me,* he said to his wife, * that we 
must set off for Griquatown, and we must go soon.* Mr. 
Broadbent was not superstitious, but he did not think it 
prudent to set aside such impressions. Preparations were 
commenced for the journey. Sifonello, Tsabalira, and Moroka 
consented to his departure only on condition that, if spared, 
he would return. They took their departure amid cries of 

* Lumela, Khosi !' (Farewell, Chief !) It was considered bad 
form to speak of a wife by her own name, so Mrs. Broadbent 
was addressed as * Lumela, Ma-Sammy !' (Farewell, mother of 
Sammy !) This son Samuel, then nearly five years old, fell 
out of the waggon when near Grahamstown, and the hind- 
wheel passed over his body, breaking four of his ribs. To the 
astonishment of everybody, he recovered, grew up a vigorous 
youth, and twenty years later went as a missionary to India. 

The mission commenced with so much toil was thus for a 
time deserted, but the desertion had its providential aspect. 
Within a few days of Mr. Broadbent's departure Makwassi was 
attacked by the combined forces of the Batau, or Lion people, 
under Moletsane, a tribe long ago extinct. They surprised 
the Barolongs by forced marches, and made their assault just 
before daybreak. Sifonello and his people fought bravely, and 
secured most of their cattle, but, overpowered by numbers, 
had to flee. Makwassi was burnt to the ground. The mission 
houses were destroyed. Clothing, books, furniture, coffee, 
and sheep, all were stolen, or destroyed, or scattered over the 
ground. The invaders found in Mr. Broadbent's house a 
leather bag containing a few pounds of gunpowder. In the 
evening, when seated around the fire, this bag was produced, 
fipd the small black grains curiously examined, * It is seed : 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


the white men use it as food/ said one. * Ah ! but the white 
man never eats his food raw ; we must roast it/ said another. 
Into the fire went the bag, when presently an explosion took 
place that threw them all on their backs. As soon as they 
regained their senses, they fled to the hills, exclaiming, * It is 
the white man's medicine !' 

Late in the year 1825 the Rev. T. L. Hodgson, accompanied 
by the Rev. J. Archbell, returned to the Barolongs, and 
attempted to re-establish the mission. Sifonello, since his 
defeat, had been leading ^ wandering life, and was now very 
poor. He made an attack on his enemies, hoping to capture 
their cattle, but was defeated. Tsabalira was killed after 
laying six of his foes dead at his feet. Makwassi was still in 
ruins, and presented a dismal scene. Broken pots, fragments 
of furniture, leaves of Dr. Adam Clarke's famous Commentary, 
strewed the ground, and the mission garden was trampled into 
barrenness. The Batau still roamed the country, and any 
attempt to rebuild Makwassi would be the signal for renewed 

To escape from his enemies, Sifonello and his people re- 
solved to remove westward, and Mr. Hodgson undertook to 
search for a suitable place. He discovered a fountain near 
Plaatberg, not far from the present Warrenton Railway Station, 
north of Kimberley, and there they settled. The work of build- 
ing cottages and church had to be done over again, but the 
missionaries counted no labour too heavy, if only the Gospel 
light could penetrate the heathen darkness in which the Baro- 
long lived. Within a few miles were other clans, with whom 
friendly intercourse was opened : the Griquas, under Barend 
Barends ; the Korannas, under Jan Kaptain, a lover of sport ; 
and the Newlanders, under Piet Baatjes. 

Scarcely was Plaatberg occupied, when Sifonello, worn with 
repeated trouble, died. He desired to know the way of salva- 
tion, and with a sigh he said, * When shall I be able to pray ? 
How shall we live in another world ?* After his death his 
son Moroka became chief, and he always cherished a deep 
sympathy with missionaries. * I believe the Gospel,* he said. 
* Many things are not the less true that we cannot understand 

At Plaatberg the Barolongs enjoyed at last quiet and safety. 
Their numbers increased, until there were eight or ten thousand 
people attached to the station. A school was commenced, a 
printing-press was set up, regular religious services were held, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

The Mission to the baroloncs 333 

and every effort was made to promote the welfare of the 

In July, 1828, Mr. Hodgson left Plaatberg in order to devote 
himself to the Griquas at Boetsap, about fifty miles to the 
west. At first Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson lived in a native hut, 
and suffered considerable discomfort ; but it was better than 
the open air. Soon a small house and then a church were 
built. Under the preaching of the Gospel the dormant con- 
science woke, and the darkened mind was enlightened. 
Numbers were admitted into the Christian Church by the rite 
of baptism ; women rejoiced in a Saviour who exalted and 
purified their life ; boys met in the huts for prayer. Barend 
Barends, the chief, became seriously ill, and frequently uttered 
the penitent's prayer, * God be merciful to me a sinner.* The 
day before he died he said, * Jesus is my Saviour ; my sins are 
forgiven.' In these triumphs of the Gospel Mr. Hodgson re- 
joiced, and felt amply repaid for all his toil. 

In those days the missionaries were compelled to keep a 
flock of sheep and goats to provide themselves with meat, and 
cows to obtain a supply of milk. Numbers of pigmy Bushmen 
infested the neighbourhood, and were a great annoyance. 
The sheep, when they went out in the daytime to feed, were 
shot down by the poisoned arrows of the Bushmen, often three 
and four in a day. They would not touch the carcasses ; these 
would lie for the vultures to eat. It was therefore obvious 
that these acts of lawlessness were prompted by a spirit of 
wanton cruelty, and were not the result of hunger. The native 
herds were dreadfully afraid of these pigmies ; for, though of 
dwarfish stature and of spare build, they were nevertheless 
dangerous by reason of their expert use of the bow and arrow, 
the poison of which is most deadly. 

The health of Mrs. Hodgson having failed, she and Mr. 
Hodgson left for England, and^ were succeeded by the Rev. J. 
and Mrs. Edwards, who commenced their long and honourable 
missionary career at Boetsap. * The country was barren, the 
people, though respectable, were poor and downcast, and could 
scarcely subsist. On the station there was a strong fountain, 
but the water was so salt that it burned everything up when 
led on for irrigation. The people had therefore to go every 
year to Daniel's Kuil, a place belonging to Waterboer, about 
•seventy miles distant, to plough, sow, and reap. * As their 
language was Dutch,' said Mr. Edwards, * I was determined 
^o learn to speak it as soon as possible, so as to preach the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Gospel to them in their own tongue.' At the close of his first 
sermon preached in Dutch, Jan Hendricks, acting as spokes- 
man for the congregation, said : * When we came to hear you 
formerly we were like persons going to a fountain for water, but 
the spring ran very weak, and we brought scarcely anything 
away; but to-night we have had our calabashes filled, we 
have understood all that Mynheer has said.' 

At Plaatberg the people so rapidly increased that the scanty 
water-supply became insufiicient, and it was urgently necessary 
that a more fertile and better watered locality should be 
secured. It was known that there were tracts of beautiful and 
unoccupied country along the Caledon River, belonging to 
Moshesh, chief of the Basutos, and Sikonyela, chief of the 
Mantatees; hence it was resolved to form an expedition to 
explore this country. * When all were ready and had come 
together, it was a large and formidable company. There 
were several waggons, and many people on horseback. The 
natives had their guns, powder, and ball, with new flints, for 
theirs were flint-lock guns.' Mr. Archbell and Mr. Edwards 
accompanied the expedition, each in his waggon, containing 
food for the journey. For animal food they depended on the 
spoils of the chase. 

Their course was up the valley of the Modder River, then 
inhabited by nothing but Bushmen and wild animals. 
Thousands of blesbok, springbok, wildebeest, and hartebeest, 
covered the plains ; they were easily shot down, and meat was 
abundant. The Matabele had a short time before swept like a 
tornado over the district, and as the waggons travelled through 
the long grass it was horrible to hear the wheels crunching the 
bones of human beings slain in war. The corn-pits were full, 
not of grain, but of human skulls. Lions and wolves abounded, 
and had acquired a taste for human flesh. Such was the 
country in 1833. 

On the tenth day of their journey they came to the country 
they sought, Thaba Nchu, * the mountain of blackness,' with 
its sombre basaltic front, its crown of massive rocks, its 
perennial springs, and the fertile plains that stretched on every 
side. Here was room enough, water enough, for thousands, 
and here they resolved, if possible, to make their home. 

* Steps were taken,' wrote Mr. Edwards, *to induce 
Sikonyela and Moshesh, with their councillors, to meet us at 
a given place. They came. Sikonyela had a mean, sneaking 
look ; Moshesh had a bold, manly appearance, with an open 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


and firm countenance. Having all met together, the object of 
our visit was explained. It was to obtain sites for mission 
stations, where the Gospel might be preached to each and all 
who should attend. We also explained that if we came into 
the country to reside, we should bring the people from our 
other stations near the Vaal River, who would be glad to settle 
. in a country where, by cultivation, they could obtain a living. 
To all this they listened with interest, and acquiesced in the 
object of our visit. They asked where the sites were that we 
thought would suit us. These having been pointed out, as 
there was no land-surveyor in the country, certain hills and 
other prominently defined boundaries were pointed out and 
agreed to, which encompassed in the aggregate a large tract 
of country about twenty-five miles square. A document was 
then drawn up, a kind of deed of sale, showing the various 
beacons agreed upon, and the amount and manner of payment 
were fixed. This was signed by the chiefs who ceded the 
territory and the influential men of our stations, as also by 
Mr. Archbell and myself, on behalf of the parent Missionary 
Society. This document is still in existence in the Land 
Registry at Bloemfontein.* 

The exodus of the Barolongs from Plaatberg and the other 
stations now commenced. Each missionary had the over- 
sight of the people belonging to his station. Altogether there 
were nearly 12,000 souls, men, women, and children. They 
travelled in a body, as a mutual protection against the Bush- 
men, who from behind the rocks watched their march with 
suspicious eyes. 

At last they arrived at their new homes. Moroka decided 
to settle at Thaba Nchu, where in a short time a large native 
town was built. To European eyes the sight was a novel one. 
No public buildings were to be seen. A vast assemblage of 
huts jostled together, without any apparent order, with cattle 
kraals between. The dwellings occupied two rounded hills, 
forming two distinct communities, under the government of 
two chiefs, Moroka and Tauane. The mission premises were 
placed on a third eminence, somewhat lower down, and stand- 
ing between the two. 

The Griquas settled at Lishuani, nearer to Basutoland ; but 
as they had little firewood, they became dissatisfied and left, 
some to join Adam Kok at Philipolis, and others to join 
Waterboer in Griqualand West. Many of the Basutos came 
down from the moimtains and settled at Lishuani, and to these 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Mr. Edwards devoted himself unsparingly. There were many 
children amongst them whom he was anxious to teach to 
read. Of books there were none. The printing-press was 
packed up, and there was no one who knew how to work it. 
So, like Gutenburg, Mr. Edwards cut letters out of the bark 
of trees, dipped them in ink, and stamped them on a sheet of 
foolscap. This paper was then hung up on a hut-pole, and the 
letters were pointed out to the children with a long stick. A 
more comfortable residence than one of reeds and poles was 
the next undertaking. Mr. Edwards with his own hands made 
bricks, about eight hundred a day; he dug stones out of the 
mountains for foundations, until his bleeding fingers had to be 
tied up with rags. * Some may say,' he said, * that is not suit- 
able work for a minister. True. But for a pioneer missionary 
these are some of the hard and rough duties he has to perform 
in order to establish himself in the midst of a heathen tribe 
to whom he may preach the Gospel. He is doing it unto the 
Lord, and will be rewarded.* 

The house at Lishuani being completed, the station estab- 
lished, and the Basutos settled upon it, Mr. Edwards was 
directed to form a settlement at Impukani, amongst the once 
dreaded Mantatees, but who were now broken and poor. The 
Matabele had swept down upon them and slain thousands, and 
carried off all their cattle. * Turn whichever way one might, 
he was met with the spectacle of human skulls — skulls of men 
whose bodies had been left in war to be devoured by prowling 
carnivora.* One of the headmen said to Mr. Edwards : * It 
was well you came when you did. We were once a warlike 
people, proud, savage, barbarous, and some of us were 
cannibals. Had you come into the country then, not one of 
you would be now alive. We should have killed every one of 
you, and we should have taken possession of all your waggons, 
oxen, horses, and everything you had. But when you came 
we could do nothing. We were poor, downcast, timid, afraid 
of any stranger, fearing he had come to take our lives.* This 
wild, predatory, bloodthirsty career seems to have been the 
normal condition of the various Bantu races for hundreds of 

At Impukani the usual laborious work had to be undertaken. 
With the assistance of a wandering Englishman, a good-sized 
church and a mission house were erected ; but as the district 
was destitute of wood, all the timber for the buildings had 
to be obtained from the Kat River, in Cape Colony. < After 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



The sixth station was established at Bimtingville, about 
seventy miles north of the Umtata, amongst that portion of 
the Pondo nation over which Faku ruled. Faku was a dandy. 
He was tall and muscular, and his habit was to wear his hair 
long and curled like a wig. He wore a tiger-skin kaross, and 
was a fine specimen of a native. When Mr. Shaw visited 
Faku in the year 1829, the Pondos were suffering from recent 
Zulu raids. Nearly the whole of their cattle had been swept 
off by the invaders, many men killed, and not a few women 
and children had been carried away as captives. The Zulus 
had even killed all the dogs and eaten them, believing they 
would thus be made * more fierce and powerful in battle.' 
After Mr. Shaw had explained the object of his visit, the 
councillors held a conference, and their 
decision was expressed by an aged 
sub-chief : * The news you have told 
us to-day is good ; it is sweet, it is 
like the sweet cane. Make haste, and 
let a missionary come. You talk of 
peace : it is good. We are tired of 
war, tired of prowling about like wild 
beasts, or being hunted like game.' 
Towards the end of the year 1830 
the Rev. W. B. Boyce arrived, with 
Mr. Tain ton as assistant, and Faku 
himself chose the site of the station. 
The land was found to be * dry,' and 
was only fertile when rain was plenti- 
ful. When complaint was made Faku 
laughed, and said that he understood 
the missionaries were great rain- makers, and could at will 
procure a plentiful supply from the sky. Prayer, and the gift 
of a beneficent Creator, were as yet incomprehensible. How- 
ever, Faku readily granted lands on a more elevated and more 
fertile spot. 

Umkalu, the mother of Faku, said to Mr. Boyce : * I want 
no presents. Beads are of no value to an old woman like me. 
I "wish to hear the great news that I may make my son hear 
it, and that I may set the Pondos a good example.' In the 
darkest heathenism were some * who waited for the Lord more 
than they that watch for the morning.' 

When the missionaries first entered Kafirland, not a word 
of the native language had been reduced to writing, and its 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


194 T//£: 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 

acquisition had often to be made under unfavourable circum- 
stances. After a day's manual labour, moulding bricks, or 
working at the anvil, the missionary was scarcely in a fit con- 
dition to study a strange language. An efficient interpreter 
was not to be obtained ; and it can easily be understood that 
the mastery of the native language was beset with difficulties. 
Its study had to be pursued, with paper and pencil in hand, in 
smoky huts, or in the cattle kraals, in actual conversation with 
the people. First, vocabularies of common nouns and simple 
adjectives were drawn up, the missionaries spelling them as 
best they could, and using the English alphabet. Then verbs 
were collected and written down. But the accidence proved 
for a long time utterly inexplicable. That the inflection of 
Kafir nouns and verbs differed from any European language 
was soon perceived ; but what laws governed the structure of a 
sentence ? Mr. Boyce devoted close attention to the solution 
of this problem, and was assisted by Theophilus Shepstone, 
a son of the Rev. W. Shepstone, to whom the native lan- 
guage was as familiar as English. There is a tradition that 
as Mr. Boyce was one day pacing backwards and forwards in 
front of the mission house, young Shepstone rushed forth, 
exclaiming, * I have found it.' Mr. Shaw says, that with 
the assistance of Shepstone, Mr. Boyce collected a large 
number of words and sentences as spoken by the people, 
and that upon examining the list, his quick perception dis- 
covered the law which governs the construction of Kafir 
sentences. This is the more probable account. Mr. Boyce 
spent several days in testing the accuracy of the theory, and, 
satisfied that it was correct, gave it the name of the * Euphonic 

At an early period it had been found that the whole business 
of declensions and conjugations was effected in Kafir, not by 
change of termination, as in Greek or Latin, but by change of 
prefixes and initial letters. But these changes were apparently 
so erratic that all attempts to reduce them to a law had been 
unsuccessful. What Mr. Boyce, assisted by Mr. Shepstone, 
discovered was that the prefixes of the adjectives, verbs, and 
adverbs in a sentence were determined by the prefix of the 
subject noun. A sentence was therefore a group of words 
thrown into alliterative form ; hence the law was called the 
* Euphonic Concord,' or agreement of sound, wherein the noun 
set, as it were, the key-note. Some prefixes expressed a plural, 
and others a singular meaning. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 195 

Mo-suto, singular. Ba-suto, plural. 

Mo-rolong; singular. Ba-rolong, plural. 

Nu-ana u-ako u-afua ndanu-zika. 

Your child is dead, and I have buried him, 

Ba-ana ba-ako ba-afua ndaba-zika. 

Your children are dead, and I have buried them. 

Aba-ntu ba lendhlu aba-tatu aba-hie aba-gulayo ba-ti. 

The people of this house, which are three, good and bad, say. 

Izin-tombe za lendhlu ezin-tatu ezin-hle esi-gulayo zi-ti. 
The girls of this house, which are three, good and bad, say. 

The prefix of the subject noun is thus repeated in a more or 
less modified form before the verbs, adverbs, pronouns, and 
adjectives. The alliteration is not always so obvious in conse- 
quence of the contraction of the prefixes. The key to the 
Kafir language having thus been discovered, the work of 
presenting it in a written form made rapid progress. Before 
the end of 1833 Mr. Boyce completed a Kafir Grammar, the 
first ever published, and it was printed at the Mission Press in 
Grahamstown. Greater certainty having been attained as to 
the structure of the language, the missionaries were stimulated 
to translate portions of the Bible. The work was full of 
difficulty. Christian terms, as * love,' * forgiveness,' * atonement,* 
* salvation,' had no equivalent in Kafir. The ideas themselves 
had to be taught, and then the native words which approxi- 
mated nearest in meaning had to be purged of their baser 
contents and allusions, and filled with a new and spiritual 
meaning. The process was necessarily slow, but the mission- 
aries were eager to make the attempt, and several portions of 
the New Testament and the Psalms were translated into Kafir 
and circulated in manuscript amongst the converts. 

A * Chain of Stations * was now formed from Wesley ville in 
the south to Buntingville in the north, a distance of 200 miles. 
How they were sustained by arduous and prayerful toil, how 
they suffered in repeated wars, how they were vacated and 
reoccupied and held for Christ amid many discouragements, 
how the Gospel triumphed over cruel heathen superstitions, 
will never be fully known in this world. The noble workers 
have joined the Great Host before the heavenly throne, and 
have left few written records of their labours. 

All these stations became centres of Christian influence 

Digitized byI^3»Q£)QlC 

196 THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,* 1823-1833 

which gradually penetrated the surrounding heathenism. The 
sight of the church and the schoolroom ; the manse, with its 
well ordered family life ; the sound of the Sabbath bell ; the 
reverent observance of the Lord's Day; the assembling for 
worship ; the songs of praise which were soon repeated in hut 
and field — all had their message to the heathen. Conscience 
was aroused into activity, and the natives began to realize the 
existence of an omnipotent spiritual power outside nature and 
above men, * the source of moral ideas, and the author of moral 

These stations were * cities of refuge,* to which fled the 
unfortunate victims of witchcraft, who always received welcome 
and secured safety. Men of wealth, whose numerous cattle 
had excited the cupidity of their chief, or who for some other 
reason had incurred his anger, fled and sometimes succeeded 
in reaching the mission station, where they found * sanctuary.' 
The pursuers would arrive and claim their prey, but upon the 
missionary asserting his right to protect the fugitive they 
generally retired, and the man was safe so long as he remained 
on the station. As in the Middle Ages, the minister of God 
was the concrete embodiment of the Divine and the spiritual, 
to whom lawless chiefs submitted and relinquished their 

These stations were centres of trade and improved agricul- 
ture. The first plough that turned up the soil north of the 
Kei was guided by the hands of a Wesleyan missionary. The 
first store opened in Kafirland for the sale of clothing and 
agricultural implements was at Wesley ville. The first cotton 
grown in South Africa was at Morley. Before Buntingville 
was established among the Pondos there was no road or 
waggon, no article of European manufacture in Pondoland, 
but within thirty years English goods to the value of /" 10,000 
went annually up St. John's River for sale to the natives. 
Civilization follows the Gospel, and the missionary opens the 
way for the trader, who should be, and sometimes is, the fore- 
most helper of the Christian teacher. 

Then these stations furnished valuable object lessons on 
Christian family life. The clean native hut ; the decently-clad 
inmates ; the one wife, honoured and relieved of much of the 
heavy field drudgery ; the husband taking his share of the 
labour of providing for the wants of the family ; the children 
going each day to school, half naked at first, but ere long 
neatly dressed and learning to read, to the wonder and envy of 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE 'CHAIN OF STATIONS,' 1823-1833 197 

many; the New Testament in Kafir occupying the place of 
honour among the household goods, and read probably slowly 
but eagerly each day ; the little garden plot with its supply of 
vegetables — all had a voice to the heathen which could not be 
silenced or misunderstood. 

The * Chain of Stations ' was a chain of Christian instruc- 
tion and regenerated life. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


THE British Government, desiring to prevent, if possible, 
any conflict with the Ama-Xosa, compelled them to 
retire beyond the river Keiskama, which was hence- 
forth to be the boundary of their country. The land 
between that and the Fish River was formed into a neutral 
zone, a buffer territory, between Bantu and Colonist, which 
neither was to cross without authority. 

Makoma and Tyali, sons of Gaika, were infuriated at being 
expelled from a district which the Gaikas had held for 
generations; and this, more than any other event, led to the 
war of 1834. In the depopulated zone along the Kat River 
a large number of Hottentots, under the pastoral care of the 
Rev. J. Read, of the London Missionary Society, were allowed 
to settle, and this still further exasperated the Gaikas. 

Some horses were stolen from a farmer living near the 
Koonap River, and were traced into Gaika territory. As they 
could not be found, forty head of cattle, belonging to Tyali, 
vvere seized. When the expedition was returning and near 
Fort Beaufort, it was attacked by the Gaikas in force, and the 
soldiers in self-defence fired on their assailants. Xoxo, a 
brother of Tyali, was wounded by a buck-shot in the forehead ; 
the injury was slight, but Makoma and Tyali resolved to make 
it a pretext for war. * The blood of a chief has been shed,' 
was the cry, and the war-fires blazed on all the hills. 

Without the least warning, with the swiftness of a prairie 
fire, thousands of the Ama-Xosa rushed into the colony and 
carried devastation and death as far as Sunday River. It was 
Christmas-time, and the settlers were assembling at their 
homesteads to observe the customs of the Fatherland. Sud- 
denly the horrors of war fell on these peaceful family groups. 
Destitute of any military organization, they could offer no 
resistance. Farmers were slain at their own doors. A farmer's 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 199 

wife was making her Christmas pudding, when her husband, 
rushing into the house, caught her up, thrust her on a horse, 
and both rode for their Hves. In a few days, 23 farmers were 
slain, 456 farmhouses were burnt, and 5,700 horses, 11,400 
cattle, and 169,000 sheep, were driven off into Kafirland. 
Hintza, with his usual duplicity, professed to be neutral whilst 
he secretly supported the war. 

The Wesleyan Mission Stations on the frontier were com- 
pletely destroyed. The Rev. H. H. Dugmore was in charge 
of Mount Coke. Since Ndlambe's death, Umkwe, the grand- 
son, had been chief, and, influenced by the missionary, he 
stood aloof from the strife. But the strain was at times almost 
beyond endurance. Of those dark days Mr. Dugmore wrote : 
* Return parties of warriors, laden with the spoil of the settlers* 
dwellings, passed through Mount Coke, taunting us with our 
helpless condition and telling us they could afford to let us 
alone for a while, as they intended to finish us at leisure. The 
suspense arising from the cutting off of all intelligence from 
the colony was horrible. The burning homesteads of Albany 
lighted up the horizon night after night, and imagination was 
left to paint its most fearful pictures. Where the end was to 
be we knew not. Days grew into weeks, and week after week 
elapsed without any sign of aggressive movement from the 
colony till old Zeta, the brother of Umkwe, impatiently 
exclaimed : * Akuseko, 'm lungu ! inkomande ingavelinje, 
bapelile bonke !* * There are no white men left ! No com- 
mando makes its appearance ; they must be all finished up !' 

The Gaikas became more insolent, and it was considered 
that the safest course of action was to abandon the station, 
retire on Wesleyville, and join Pato's people. Placing what 
goods they could on waggons, the Rev. H. H. Dugmore and 
his family, Umkwe, and the peace- observing natives, left in 
a body for Wesleyville. In the night the fugitives looked back 
and saw the sky reddened by the glare of the burning church 
and houses at Mount Coke. The Gaikas had set them on fire, 
and the labour of years was a blackened ruin. 

At Wesleyville the Rev. W. Shepstone was the resident 
missionary. Kama and Pato * sat still ' and resolved to be 
neutral — would, doubtless, always have been neutral, but for 
the arrogance of a British officer, who, at the close of the war, 
taunted Pato as a coward for not having joined his tribe against 
the colony. Pato's savage nature was roused, and in a fury he 
retorted: *You shall not have to say that of me next time,* 

Digitized by L^OOQlC 

200 THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 

In future wars he was the colony's bitterest foe, and the patient 
work of the missionary was undone by the blatant folly of a 
military fop. 

Early one morning a messenger brought word that the Rev. 
Mr. and Mrs. Brownlee, of the London Mission, were, with 
theii* children, in a Kafir hut, four miles distant, completely 
exhausted by a hurried night's journey through the forest. 
Their cattle had been seized, their house had been plundered 
of all food, and they were left to starve. Father, mother, and 
children had- to make their way at night through a country 
teeming with enemies, and avoid the paths leading to their 
kraals, until they were utterly prostrated. Mr. Shepstone 
promptly sent a waggon to their rescue, and the whole family 
were brought in. 

Wesleyville was now crowded with fugitives. Traders who 
had" narrowly escaped with their lives ; Hottentot waggon- 
drivers with their wives and childreii ; Umkwe and his clan, 
together with Pato, Kama, and their followers — all these, with 
the families of the Revs: Dugmore, Shepstone, and Brownlee, 
and also of Mr. Walker, had to be removed to a place of safety. 
For many weary months nothing could be done ; then per- 
emptory orders came from the British commandant that they 
were to remove into the neutral zone within twenty-four hours. 
Hastily the women and children, the clothing and bedding, 
the books and the valuable translations, were crowded into 
three waggons, and in the gloom of the evening they left, 
escorted by the men marching on foot. The way lay through 
the deep defiles of the Umkalana. Slowly through the night 
the procession threaded the intricate bush-paths down to the 
Keiskama, Mr. Dugmore and ' Mama, the father of the Rev. 
Boyce Mama, bringing up the rear. A heavy rain, with 
rolling mists, came on, and the roads were slippery. One 
waggon containing the children was upset ; but, happily, no 
one was hurt. It was important to cross the Keiskama before 
halting ; but upon reaching the drift, the river was already 
running high, and the drivers refused to cross in the dark. 
Supperless, the fugitives had to crouch under the bushes to 
escape the pelting rain. When morning broke, the waggons 
were got through without accident, and then only was there 
leisure for eating. Within a few hours of their departure 
Wesleyville was burnt to the ground by the Gaikas. 

Butterworth shared the same fate. Hintza became impatient 
of the restraint imposed upon him by the presence of Mn 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Ayliff, and removed his kraal several miles distant He drove 
off the cattle of some of the residents at Butter worth, saying : 

* Thus shall you all be served if you remain with that fellow/ 
pointing to Mr. Ayliff. Later, he gave orders for the destruc- 
tion of the station ; but said to his warriors : * Don't touch the 
missionary. Tve got my assagais ready for him.' One day, 
two native Christians knocked at the door of the parsonage 
and informed Mr. Ayliff that Hintza was approaching with his 
army, intent on destroying the station and killing him. At 
once, Mr. Ayliff ascended the hill to meet Hintza, who, seeing 
him, gruffly said: *Why do you come hete ?* Mr. Ayliff 
replied : * When I first came, you said that you would be my 
father; should not a child greet his father?' * But I am 
angry; I will not receive you?' ex- 
claimed Hintza, in passionate tones. 

* But, chief, why are you angry ?' 
asked Mr. Ayliff, *will you come and 
have some coffee ?' * Go away !' said 
Hintza ; * who thinks of food when 
he is angry V Mr. Ayliff sent word 
to Mrs. Ayliff : * Make some coffee 
and send it up quickly.' The coffee 
was made and sent by a servant, and 
when Hintza saw the steaming, 
fragrant beverage, his anger cooled, 
the coffee was accepted, and the 
storm was averted. Late at night 
the manse door was opened, and 
Nonsa, the great wife of Hintza, 
whom Mrs. Ayliff had nursed through 

a dangerous illness, entered, and sitting down, said : * Sing 
some of your hymns.' During the singing, Nonsa said : * There 
is a snake in the grass, and you will not see it until you tread 
on it. Take warning.' The warning was taken. In the early 
hours of the morning, Mr. and Mrs. Ayliff and the Christian 
natives set out for Clarkebury and took refuge with the Rev. 
W. J. Davis, where they were under the protection of the 
Tembu chief Vedana. Finding that his prey had escaped, 
Hintza battered in the doors and windows of the church, set 
Butterworth on fire, and utterly destroyed it. 

Morley, Clarkebury, and Buntingville were outside the area 
of strife, and escaped injury. But the order came from Sir 
Benjamin Durban that all missionaries were to remove into 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


202 THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 

the colony for safety, and a strong military guard was sent for 
their escort. Accordingly, Mr. Ayliff, from Butterworth ; Mr. 
Satchel!, from Buntingville ; Mr. Palmer, from Morley ; and 
Mr. Davis, from Clarkebury, set out with their families and 
succeeded in reaching Grahamstown. 

Colonel Harry Smith rode from Cape Town to Grahamstown 
in six days, and collected burghers from GraafF Reinet, 
Somerset East, and Albany. Makoma and Tyali were driven 
out of the thickets of the Fish River, and fled to their fastnesses 
in the Amatola Mountains. Sir Benjamin Durban invaded 
Gcalekaland, and such was the rapidity of the movements of 
the British troops that Hintza was alarmed, and surrendered. 
The Fingos appealed to the Governor for deliverance from 
bondage ; but he was unwilling to interfere until every peace- 
able method had been exhausted. The proud Gcaleka chief 
was furious when he heard that his * dogs ' were seeking to be 
free, and whilst a prisoner in the British camp issued orders 
for their massacre. Sir Benjamin Durban, when informed of 
what was being done, hastily summoned Hintza into his 
presence, and sternly addressed him : * If the slaughter is not 
instantly stopped, I will hang you and your son Kreli on the 
nearest tree.' Hintza was alarmed, and sending messengers 
in every direction, the massacre was arrested. The Governor 
now took steps to liberate the Fingos, and, allotting them ample 
lands near Fort Peddie, requested the Rev. J. AylifF to take 
charge of them during the journey to their new home. 

On May 9, 1835, 16,000 Fingos, old and young, crossed the 
river Kei, protected by a small body of British troops. Mothers 
carried one or two children on their backs, and burdens on 
their heads. The elder children carried sleeping-mats and 
blankets. The men drove the cattle, many of which there is 
reason to believe they had not scrupled to plunder from their 
late masters. The column slowly moved over the veldt, and 
the journey was 100 miles in length ; but there was not the 
least complaint of fatigue. Were not safety and freedom before 
them ? When they passed the river Keiskama, ten days later, 
not a child or old person was missing. They were placed on 
land around Fort Peddie, and, after they had become settled, 
Mr. AylifF held a mass meeting of all the men at Emquashini, 
half-way between Peddie and Breakfast Vlei, near a large 
milkwood-tree, and, in an impressive address, reminded them 
of what Christianity and the Government had done for them. 
Then, calling upon each man to lift his right hand, he recited 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 203 

a pledge, which they all audibly repeated. As with one voice, 
' they promised to be faithful to God, to be loyal to the British 
Government, and to do all in their power to support the 
missionaries and educate their children. The milkwood-tree 
still stands, but steps are being taken to erect a more durable 
monument of that day*s vow, and of their deliverance from 
slavery. The Fingos prospered in their new home, and 
developed into agriculturists, and sheep farmers, and owners 
of waggons. They increased in numbers, and some had to 
seek settlement elsewhere. But to this day there is no name 
so deeply cherished by the Fingos as that of the Rev. J. AylifF, 
who first taught them the Gospel, and then led them out of a 
cruel bondage into freedom and prosperity. 

Hintza promised to restore the cattle stolen from the colonists, 
and, accompanied by Colonel Smith, went to collect them from 
their hiding-places. In crossing the Xebecca River he at- 
tempted to escape and to stab Colonel Smith, but was shot by 
one of the guides. The * Great Bull ' fell dead, and his career 
of duplicity and treachery was at an end. Kreli, his son, was 
acknowledged as his successor, and with him, as Chief of the 
Gcalekas, peace was made. 

Makoma and Tyali were still hiding in the Amatolas, uncon- 
quered and unyielding, and it seemed as if a costly and tedious 
war was inevitable. Hoping to divide and weaken the enemy. 
Sir Benjamin Durban announced that Makoma and Tyali were 
banished beyond the Kei, but that for their subjects lands 
would be provided between the Kei and Fish Rivers. His 
hope was that the chiefs would be deserted by their followers, 
and that they would be compelled to flee. In this he was mis- 
taken. The Gaikas would not forsake their chiefs, and to 
expel Makoma and Tyali from the Amatolas would involve 
much loss of life. When Sir Benjamin Durban arrived in 
Grahamstown, the Wesleyan missionaries thought it was their 
duty to remonstrate with him on the impolicy of conducting 
the war on such lines. The Governor listened, but replied 
that he could not recede with dignity from his proclamation. 
The missionaries said : * If you consent, we will endeavour to 
send a message to the belligerent chiefs, advising them to seek 
peace at your hands, and to ask to be admitted as British sub- 
jects.* To this Sir Benjamin Durban did not object. 

No time was to be lost if the missionaries were to secure 
peace. The next morning the Revs. W. B. Boyce, W. Shep- 
stone, and S. Palmer, with an armed escort, rode out of 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

204 THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 

Grahamstown on their perilous enterprise. When they arrived 
at the kraal of Pato, near Wesleyville, they sent for him and 
his brothers, Kama and Kobi, and together they selected four 
native women, and told them to seek Makoma and Tyali, 
wherever they might be in the Amatolas, and deliver to them 
this message : * The Governor is going to sweep the country 
clean. Ask for mercy. Say, ** Mercy, Great Chief.'* Ask 
for a place in which you can sit and plough. If you do not 
act on our advice, we are clear of your blood. Send to the 
Governor, and we will speak for you.' The women departed, 
and day after day passed — days of anxious waiting. The 
twelfth day dawned, when the women returned with the reply : 
* The chiefs thank the missionaries. They must not tire now 
the path is open. We will seek for mercy.* The missionaries 
returned to Grahamstown, and in a few days a messenger 
arrived from the two chiefs, who laid at the feet of the Governor 
an assegai, in token of their submission, and said, in native 
fashion, *that they wished to be his children.' 

To this request the Governor sent a gracious reply. Makoma 
and Tyali came in and submitted. The efforts of the Wesleyan 
missionaries to terminate the war had been crowned with 
success. The Ama-Xosa were placed between the Keiskama 
and the Kei, under British rule. The chiefs were made sub- 
magistrates, to administer native laws, subject to the control - 
of a British agent. Witchcraft was abolished, and, to com- 
pensate the chiefs for the loss of fines, a small salary was 
allowed them, payable during good behaviour. Missionaries 
were to settle among them, and establish schools for the educa- 
tion of their children. The sale of intoxicants and materials 
of war was strictly prohibited. There is every probability 
that if these wise plans had been allowed to be carried out, the 
predatory habits of the natives would in a few years have been 
eradicated, and the tranquillity of the frontier would have been 

One man wrecked these statesmanhke proposals and inflicted 
years of strife on Cape Colony. Lord Glenelg was at the 
time the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, and rely- 
ing, not on the despatches of Sir Benjamin Durban, but on 
private and prejudiced communications, he pronounced an 
official judgment on the war, which, as Judge Cloete said, for 
cruelty and injustice, * might have been penned by an enemy.' 
Lord Glenelg, in his despatch, made the astounding statement 
that, * in a long series of years,* the colonists and the public 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 205 

authorities had treated the Kafirs * with systematic injustice/ 
and that they had ' a perfect right to extort by force the redress 
they could not otherwise obtain/ He recalled Sir Benjamin 
Durban, and ordered the district between the Keiskama and 
the Fish River to be restored to the Ama-Xosa, who rapidly 
swarmed back to their old fastnesses in bush and forest, and 
kept the whole border in terror for years. Never, perhaps, 
has the despatch of a Colonial Secretary wrought greater 

The Dutch burghers were so embittered against British rule 
that, to the number of 10,000, they left a country which, as 
they said, afforded them neither protection nor justice. The 
British settlers were not prepared to abandon flag and home, 
but, strong in the consciousness of their innocence, they 
demanded the appointment of a Commission to investigate on 
the spot the charges made against them. The only satisfac- 
tion obtained was that Lord Glenelg was compelled by the 
force of indisputable facts to withdraw his accusations and to 
make a reluctant apology. 

The heat and passion of the controversy of those days have 
long ago subsided, and it is possible calmly to investigate the 
causes of this political blunder. Lord Glenelg was closely 
intimate with a remarkable group of men called the * Clapham 
sect,* which consisted of William Wilberforce, Thomas Clark- 
son, Zachary Macaulay, Grenville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, 
and Thomas Fowell Buxton — men who devoted themselves to 
the defence of the oppressed in every clime. They had recently 
fought and won in the British Parliament the battle for the 
emancipation of the slaves, and, in the excitement of their 
victory, some of them were incapable of judging impartially 
any conflict between black and white men. Their sympathies 
rallied at once to the protection of the native, as almost cer- 
tain, in their opinion, to be the victim of oppression ; and, with 
little independent inquiry, they denounced the frontier farmer 
as a cruel oppressor. The anti-slavery press in England, mis- 
led by false reports, represented the settlers as raiding Kafir- 
land, killing men, carrying off women and children into captivity, 
and, when impatient of their footsore pace, shooting them on 
the road. The Wesleyan missionaries, at the time they were 
risking their lives to save the Gaika chiefs, were branded 
as * sanguinary' and * truckling.* The British public, or at 
least a portion of it, was in one of its superior moods, and 
ready to believe any vile story of the colonists. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

2o6 THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 

The anti- slavery party had its enthusiastic supporters in 
Cape Colony, of whom, undoubtedly, the ablest was Dr. Philip, 
of Cape Town. He had given up an important pastorate at 
home to become the superintendent of the operations of the 
London Missionary Society in South • Africa. He possessed 
indomitable energy, and constituted himself the champion and 
defender of the native races. In his eagerness to remedy their 
wrongs he was blind to the just rights and claims of the settlers, 
and, credulously accepting unreliable statements, attributed to 
them deeds of oppression and cruelty of which they were 
wholly innocent. He boldly advocated the natural equality of 
mankind — a doctrine which, as understood by the natives, 
became a direct incentive to insubordination and rebellion. 

In the year 1830 Dr. Philip and Mr. Fairbairn, editor of the 
Commercial Advertiser, both residing in Cape Town, visited the 
frontier, and held conversations with Makoma and Tyali 
respecting their claim to the neutral territory. The Wesleyan 
missionaries, who were aware of the slumbering disaffection of 
the Ama-Xosa, and knew that little was required to excite it 
into open war, protested against Dr. Philip's interference, but 
he would listen to no remonstrance. In June, 1834, he again 
visited the two chiefs, and the mischief he wrought was dis- 
closed in the confession of Tyali : * Philip said, " This is your 
land. I will speak in the Governor's ear." Philip said, "The 
land is yours on this side of the Fish River. I will write to 
the King of England, and speak to the Governor." This, and 
the Hottentots talking to us, set us on fire' The impression was 
left on the minds of the irritated chiefs that Dr. Philip was 
more worthy of confidence than their own missionaries, whose 
influence for a peaceable settlement of disputes was thus 
seriously impaired. Misguided, one-eyed philanthropy has at 
various times produced not a little confusion and trouble in 
South Africa. 

When Sir Benjamin Durban arrived in the colony early in 
1834, ^® opened up communication with the Kafir chiefs, and 
assured them that, if they wished their claims to the neutral 
territory to be considered in a friendly manner, they must cease 
their cattle-stealing and keep within their border. But, buoyed 
up with the hope of Dr. Philip's advocacy, this pacific overture 
was rejected. The majority of the Ama-Xosa had long desired 
war. The valuable herds of cattle grazing on the frontier 
were tempting objects to a predatory people, knowing, as they 
did, there was no military force at hand to protect. The settlers 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 207 

were not responsible for the creation of the neutral zone, or 
for the expulsion of Makoma and Tyali across the Keiskama ; 
and they were the innocent sufferers of a Government policy, 
in the shaping and administration of which they had had no 

After the war Dr. Philip visited England, and declared in 
numerous public speeches that the natives had been incited to 
make war by the settlers, who at particular seasons had driven 
their cattle in thousands across the border and pastured them 
on native lands. When resistance was offered, they burnt down 
huts and destroyed whole villages. He denounced the Wes- 
leyan missionaries in defending the settlers as prejudiced and 
untrustworthy witnesses. Fortunately, the Rev. W. Shaw was 
at the time in England, and in a vigorously written open letter 
addressed to Lord Aberdeen, Colonial Secretary, he indignantly 
repelled these unfounded accusations. He emphatically 
asserted that the * present disturbed state of the Kafir border 
is due, not to any cruelties perpetrated by the British settlers 
on the Kafirs, but to the moral state and predatory habits of 
the Kafirs, the evil tendencies of which have been aggravated 
by the exceedingly mischievous character of our border policy.* 
At a later date he declared : * Intimately acquainted as I am 
with the history of the settlement, I bear my most decided and 
unequivocal testimony to the fact that the British settlers 
have not at any time made any foray, or committed any acts of 
aggression against the border Kafir tribes.* 

We have no wish to revive an extinct controversy, but with- 
out some reference to it the altered attitude of the colonists 
towards missionaries and their work could not be understood. 
In 1833 the Rev. W. J. Shrewsbury wrote from Grahamstown: 
* I never have known a community of Englishmen so free from 
illiberal prejudices. All colours love as brethren, have their 
love-feasts together, and meet at one table of the Lord.* After 
the war this kindly feeling towards the natives no longer 
existed. The colonists were alienated from Mission work. 
They lost their grasp of the great vocation of a Christian 
people, and ceased to recognise that as English Christians their 
privilege and duty were to extend the Gospel to the heathen. 
It is only within recent years that the prejudices born of the 
conflicts of those days have begun to yield to a healthier sense 
of Christian responsibility. 

Colonel Smith, whose ideas of religion were largely military, 
issued an address to the natives as to their future conduct. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

2o8 THE BLIGHT OF WAR, 1834 

* Leave off,* he said, * the wicked practice of stealing. Attend 
Divine worship, and send your children to school. Let the 
men work in the fields, and the women make and mend your 
clothes, keep your children clean, cook the food, and take care 
of the milk. Omit the witch dance. Bury your dead, and do 
not drag out the corpse and cast it forth as food for wild beasts. 
Listen to your missionaries. Forget all animosities among 
yourselves. Fear God, honour your King, and respect the 

With this bluff, shrewd advice, the war of 1834 ^^Y ^® said 
to have closed. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

HEATHENISM, 1886-1862. 

PEACE was once more restored on the frontier, but many 
of the native converts said : * We cannot beHeve there 
is peace, and we cannot sleep safely unless the mission- 
varies come back and dwell among us.* Even those 
who had personally engaged in the war appeared to be weary 
of strife, and were willing to listen to the Christian teacher. 
**The whole land is now before us,' wrote the Rev. W. J. Davis. 
* The missionary can go to any village and obtain a congrega- 

In 1835 the several missionaries left Grahamstown for their 
respective posts. A few changes were made. The Rev. H. H. 
Dugmore went to Buntingville, where Faku accorded him a 
royal welcome, and presented him with an elephant's tusk. 
The Rev. S. Palmer proceeded to Morley, where the church 
still stood, but destitute of doors and windows. The Rev. 
W, J. Davis returned to Clarkebury, where Vedana had taken 
care of the Mission property by placing around it a thick thorn 
fence. The Rev. J. AylifF, at the request of Kreli, returned to 
Butterworth, to rebuild what had been destroyed. The Rev. 
W. Shepstone took charge of Wesleyville — a blackened ruin — 
as well as of Pato's tribe. The Rev. W. H. Garner, who had 
been labouring among the Mantatees on the northern border 
of Basutoland, was installed missionary to the Emancipated 
Fingos. The Rev. W. B. Boyce went to Mount Coke, where 
everything had been burnt to the ground. On the journey to 
their several stations they were struck with the desolate ap- 
pearance of the country as far as the river Kei. Scarcely a 
native was met or a hut seen. 

Of the labours of the missionaries from 1835 to 1852 little is 
recorded. Beyond an occasional letter published in the Mis- 
sionary Notices, or an allusion in a rare book, scarcely any- 

209 Digitized by UOOgle 


thing is known. They were depressed by the recent war, and 
either there was little to report or they did not care to place on 
paper the details of their weary toil. They changed from 
station to station, rarely staying more than two years, often 
only one, seeking the relief of frequent change, and any attempt 
to follow them in their removals would only bewilder. They 
preached to the people and taught the children, and they visited 
heathen kraals, taking advantage of a wedding or a dance to 
hold an open-air service. They exposed the delusions of witch- 
craft, sometimes at the peril of their lives. They were over- 
taken in their solitary rides by heavy rains or icy cold winds, 
and illness supervened, necessitating rest with friends or at the 
seaside. But the brightness and hope of early Mission work 
had vanished, and the fear of the renewal of war hung over 
them all. 

It is therefore only a very brief survey that can be taken of 
the older Mission stations during the fifteen years following 
the war. 

Wesleyville was rebuilt, but Pato refused to return to it, 
and he and his people settled about ten miles below Peddie, 
on the river Beka; and in 1836 a Mission station was formed 
about two miles from his * great place,' and named Beka after 
the river. Pato occasionally came to the services with a few 
of his councillors, all clad in red blankets. He was regarded 
as one of the wealthiest chiefs in the land, but neither he nor his 
subjects accepted Christianity^ and little progress was made. 

Kama, and those who chose to share his lot, separated from 
Pato and removed to Newtondale, twelve miles south of the 
Beka, and near to the Fish River. He petitioned for a mis- 
sionary, but, owing to the numerous claims on the Mission 
funds, no one could be sent. Kama kept up the forms of 
worship, and his broad, intelligent face shone with delight 
as he talked to his people of the love of God in Christ. At 
Grahamstown he spoke from the platform : * I am a black man, 
but I have a white heart ; the Saviour who died for you died 
for me.' Pato was constantly urging him to take another wife, 
if only to keep up the dignity of the chieftancy, but Kama 
stood firm, and his consistency made a profound impression on 
his subjects. * When God's Word came to Kama,' they said, 
* he held out his hand, and it fell right into the middle of it, 
and he has held it fast ever since.* Kama continued to present 
that Kafir anomaly — ^a young chief with the paltry establish- 
ment of one wife. 

Digitized by VjOOQiC 


Pato, jealous of Kama's growing influence, endeavoured to 
stir up strife between the two clans. To preserve the peace, 
Kama, in the year 1838, left the district. The Government 
granted him a tract of country in Northern Tembuland, and 
thither he and his followers removed. At Kamastone, as the 
settlement was afterwards called, Kama was chief and pastor 
for eleven years, for no missionary could be sent. He was 
alone as a Christian. He was threatened by the neighbouring 
chiefs that they would wipe him out if he did not join them in 
their heathen practices. But Kama calmly refused. Every 
Sabbath this priest-chief collected his people for worship, his 
son, William Shaw Kama, who had been educated at Salem, 
reading the lessons and hymns, and he preached. At the end 
of eleven years, when the number of 
inhabitants at Kamastone was in- 
creased by the arrival of the Fingos 
from Haslope Hills, the Rev. W. 
Shepstone was appointed pastor, and 
he found a society of fifty members. 
If every chief had been like Kama, 
Kafirland would have had a different 

By these removals Wesleyville was 
so diminished that the resident mis- 
sionary was withdrawn, and it was 
attached to Mount Coke. In the year 
1844 it was placed under the care of 
the missionary at Beka. 

Mount Coke was rebuilt by the 
Rev. W. B. Boyce, who remained two 

years, and was followed by the Rev. H. H. Dugmore, who 
thus returned to his old post. But there was little extension of 
the Gospel among the Gcalekas residing outside the station, 
many of whom had taken an active part in the war, and were 
suspicious and unfriendly. 

Butterworth, under the direction of the Rev. J. Ayliff, 
regained a portion of its former prosperity. Kreli came clad 
in his leopard-skin kaross, and expressed his regret that the 
place had been burnt, and gave more than 100 head of cattle 
to pay for the cost of rebuilding the church and the manse. 
But he wavered between Christianity and heathenism. He 
attended the services on the Sabbath, and conversed with 
deep interest on the existence of God and the way of salvation 




by faith in Christ; but early training, the influence of his 
councillors, and political ambition, held him back from being 
a Christian. It is probable he was convinced that the tribal 
superstitions were a delusion and a mockery; but, when 
occasion served, he used the witch doctor and the terror his 
supposed powers excited, to accomplish his purposes. His 
disbelief in heathen ideas would at times flash forth in a cruel 
sardonic temper, revealing the tempest raging in his mind. 
One day he sent for the rain-maker, and said : * You are the 
man who has the rain. You say we must not go to the school to 
listen to the missionary, but when we went to pray for rain, 
we had it. Men, kill him.' Instantly his head was severed 
from his body and thrown into a ditch, whilst the trunk was 
thrown in another direction. * Masters of rain * seldom died a 
natural death. 

In order perhaps to influence his people in favour of Chris- 
tianity, Kreli sent messengers to two neighbouring chiefs to 
observe among other things their treatment of the missionaries 
and the effect of the Word. They returned and said : * We 
are stupid things ; we know nothing. They leave us far 
behind ; they will not have the witch doctor. They all go to 
chapel and hear God's Word. They have clothes like the 
white people, and their children learn to read and write. They 
have the school to themselves, but we have allowed the Fingos 
to take ours.' The Gcalekas had, in fact, allowed the Fingos, 
of whom about 3,000 still remained, to crowd the church, 
whilst they, acting on the advice of the witch doctor, had 
stayed away. Kreli saw this, and was irritated that other 
tribes were outstripping his people in education and dress, but, 
proud as he was, he had not the courage to remedy the evil. 

Mr. AylifF was followed at Butterworth by the Revs. W. J. 
Davis, H. Pearse, and F. P. Gladwin, and the material result 
of their labours is described in a letter of a visitor in 1843 • 
*The Mission premises stood in a conspicuous position and 
presented a beautiful appearance. Close by was a row of neat 
cottages, after the English style, erected by the natives for 
their own accommodation. It was gratifying to witness the 
life that pervaded the village. Some were digging in their 
gardens, others building habitations, and one man was occu- 
pied as a blacksmith at the forge.* 

The stations outside the area of the recent war made greater 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Clarkebury flourished under the pastorates of the Revs. 
W. J. Davis (1835.1837), F. P. Gladwin (1839-1845), and 
J. S. Thomas (1845-1847). How great the change wrought 
in some of the Tembus by the Gospel was displayed in the 
confession of Umtshikamsi, a famous warrior, and the hero of 
many a fight. * You all know that from a child I have been 
in the midst of war. As soon as I had strength to carry an 
assegai and a shield I began to shed blood. I have been 
wounded all over my body, and everything has happened to me 
but death. But when I came to Clarkebury, I saw God wanted 
me to hear His Word, and to-day I stand up for another 
Captain— Jesus.* In 1836 Mr. Davis published during his 
residence at Clarkebury, a Kafir Grammar, an improved 
edition of Mr. Boyce's work, and which for many years was 
the only guide on the subject. During the residence of 
Mr. Gladwin a larger church was necessary, and the Tembus 
built one at their own cost. It was made, Devonshire fashion, 
of earth rammed hard, and thatched, and outstood many a 

At Morley ministerial changes were less frequent, and the 
tribe became enthusiastic for the education of their children, 
which was unavoidably of a very elementary form, and con- 
sisted of the ability to read the New Testament. The Sunday 
school assumed great importance, and contained scholars of 
all ages. At the anniversary in 1841 nearly 1,000 scholars 
were present, and over 1,000 parents and friends came to listen 
to the examination of the children. This Christian festival 
supplanted the old heathen dance, and the wealthier members 
gave eight beasts to provide the visitors with food. Mr. Pearse, 
who was present, wrote : * It was a day not to be forgotten.* 

At Buntingville Faku still dwelt. He never accepted 
Christianity, though he valued the presence of the missionary. 
That was the attitude of most of the chiefs, who looked upon 
the missionary as adding to their dignity, and furnishing 
facilities for communicating with the Government. Faku's 
mother became a sincere Christian. Often she assembled her 
grandchildren, prayed with them, and urged them to seek 
Christ. * Great people,* she said, * laugh at me, and say that 
I am old and foolish, but I know that Jesus is my Saviour.' 
When not able to attend the service, she sent two men to 
hear, and return to tell her what had been said. 

No longer afraid of Zulu or Dutch raids now that Natal was 
British territory, Faku removed, in the year 1844, north of 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


St. John's River The Rev. T. Jenkins accompanied him and 
formed a new station, which was called Palmerton. Mr. Jenkins 
was a master of many crafts, and taught the Pondos to make 
bricks, to build straight vertical walls, to cut timber, thatch 
roofs, and grow vegetables. He erected at Palmerton a number 
of small cottages, and taught some of the tribe how to make 
chairs and tables. A demand arose for picks, axes, shovels, 
hoes, woollen and cotton goods, and then came the trader, who 
profited by the labour of the missionary. 

The Pondos were ignorant and superstitious to an almost 
incredible degree. * The first time I went to the service,' said 
one, * I saw a sight I never saw before — a bright light against 
the wall keeping alight of itself. Ah, I thought, that is God. I 
never saw such a thing before. I took 
the candle to be God hanging on a 
wall.' The mind of the speaker, under 
the quickening influence of the Gospel, 
expanded, and he became an intelligent 

The Pondos were brutalized by 
witchcraft. A woman, who was ac- 
cused of causing the death of a child, 
was tortured by the application of 
hot stones to her naked body, and 
her screams were appalling. Her son 
begged her torturers to set her free, 
but he was seized and thrown head- 
long into the fire, from which he 
crawled with difficulty, and escaped 
to Mr. Jenkins. 

Faku became ill, and there was a grand smelling out. His 
own brother, Cingo, was declared by the witch doctor to be the 
cause of the sickness, and was condemned to torture and death. 
Mr. Jenkins gained access to Faku, and interceded for the 
unfortunate victim. 'Teacher,' said Faku, *do you see how 
some of my people hate me in sending wild cats to kill me ?' 
This led to a long conversation, in which Mr. Jenkins pleaded : 
* Faku, Cingo is not guilty of your illness, and I know you are 
not the man to stain your hands with innocent blood.' Cingo 
lay bound and helpless on the ground, and with anxious eyes 
waited for the reply. After sitting for some time in deep 
thought, Faku looked up and said : * Teacher, you have saved 
Cingo. He shall not be killed.' Cingo's bonds were severed, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



and he sprang to his feet, his face flashing with delight, and 
from that day he was the firm friend of Mr. Jenkins. 

The Pondo chief and the missionary became strongly attached 
to each other. Sometimes Faku would say that there were 
only two good men in Pondoland — Mr. Jenkins and himself. 
He gave 100 head of cattle towards the cost of a church which 
was capable of holding 1,000 persons. A mission house was 
built by Mr. Jenkins, largely with his own hands, and wholly 
at his own expense. He loved the Pondos, and devoted him- 
self to their welfare in every form. He became profoundly 
versed in their customs, and preached in their language. Per- 
haps he was a little blind to their faults, but he was one of the 
bravest and best of the early Wesleyan missionaries. 

We now turn to two enterprises of a novel character. 

In 1838 the natives residing on the Grahamstown com- 
monage wanted larger grazing grounds and lands for cultiva- 
tion. Mr. Shaw saw an opportunity of forming a Christian 
native settlement, and with the approval of the Missionary 
Committee purchased a farm of 6,000 acres situated below 
Salem, and named it Farmerfield. The land was divided into 
plots and let at a fixed annual rental, and the aggregate rents 
more than covered the interest of the purchase money. Each 
tenant had to build his own dwelling and enclose his own 
ploughed lands. Four hamlets were formed, occupied res- 
pectively by Kafirs, Fingos, Bechuanas, and the inmates of 
the * Watson Institute ' — a small school of industry for training 
native youths to be agriculturists and schoolmasters. No 
wandering native was allowed to squat down on the farm with 
the plea that he desired spiritual instruction. The whole was 
placed under the management of Mr. D. Roberts, and upon 
his retirement he was succeeded by Mr. W. Walker, a man of 
sterling character. The settlement was a success. The neat 
dwellings clustering on the hillsides, the cultivated lands with 
little orchards of fruit trees, the church built of stone near the 
Assagai River, the decently clad inhabitants, made a pleasant 
scene, which excited the admiration of Bishop Gray, of Cape 
Town, when he visited Farmerfield in 1849. Some of the tenants 
rose to comparative wealth, and possessed waggons and oxen. 

In the same year a similar experiment was made at Haslope 
Hills, on the northern side of the Great Winterberg, where 
Mr. Shaw purchased a farm for the benefit of emancipated 
slaves, Fingos, and Tembus. The Rev. J. AylifF left Wesley- 
Digitized by LnOOQlC 


ville to take charge of the station, and in a short time he built 
a stone wall across the river Kei, and led out the water, 
irrigating seventy acres of land. The natives at Haslope Hills 
rendered valuable assistance to the Government in the war of 
1846, and at its close Sir Harry Smith offered them lands else- 
where. The Tembus settled at Lesseyton, the Fingos went 
to Kamastone, and the farm was sold, Haslope Hills thus 
ceasing to be a mission station. 

The year 1839 was the centenary of Methodism, and was 
celebrated in England by a Thanksgiving Fund, which 
amounted to ;^3 50,000, a portion of which was devoted to 
Missions. The Missionary Committee was enabled to augment 
the staff in South Africa by sending out the Revs. H. Pearse, 
J. Smeeth, F. P. Gladwin, W. C. Holden, F. Taylor, Thornley 
Smith, John Smith, J. S. Thomas, and J. W. Appleyard, who 
formed a splendid reinforcement to carry on the strenuous 
struggle with heathenism. How these noble men, and their 
no less noble wives, * laboured in the Lord ' will never be fully 
told on earth. Messrs. Holden and Thornley Smith became 
authors at a time when literary work was rarely undertaken by 
Wesleyan ministers ; Mr. Appleyard developed into an honoured 
translator and editor ; Mr. Thomas was unintentionally, and 
Mr. Pearse was accidentally, killed ; Mr. Gladwin passed 
through thrilling dangers in war time. Some, after years of 
service, returned to England. 

This reinforcement rendered it possible to form three new 
stations — at Beecham Wood, Imvani, and Shawbury. 

Beecham Wood is situated in a beautifully wooded district 
near the mouth of the river Bashee, where dwelt the Velelos, 
a Gcaleka clan, of which Gxaba was the chief. Gxaba was 
shrewd and observant, and said to Mr. Shaw : * Pato and 
Kama made the missionary their friend, and they are safe. 
They have grown rich and strong. Let a missionary come, 
and we will listen to him.* The Rev. Horatio Pearse was 
sent, and Gxaba gave a square mile of ground for the Mission. 

The depraved condition of the Velelos was not more marked 
than that of other tribes, but to Mr. Pearse it was distressing. 
Witchcraft was rampant ; one night a number of men entered 
a hut and smashed the occupant's head in with a knob-kerrie 
because he was suspected of being a wizard. Another was 
* eaten up * — had all his cattle confiscated, and was tortured to 
death by ants. Lying was practised without shame, and' it 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


was no insult to say even to Mr. Pearse : * You tell a lie.* 
Thieving was an art which won admiration ; beer orgies were 
common. Enemies captured in battle were sometimes roasted 
over a slow fire. The innocence of the savage is a sentimental 
dream. He is sensual, cruel, wretched, and lives in dread of 
a violent death. 

Mr. Pearse built a little * wattle and daub ' cottage, in which 
he and his wife and infant daughter made a home. He also 
erected a temporary oval-shaped chapel, and two years later 
built a more substantial structure capable of holding 100 
persons. He commenced a school in the open air, teaching 
the children by means of a board attached to his waggon. The 
Gospel was the power of God to these depraved Velelos, and, 
convinced of their sin, they cried out 
in their distress : * Where shall we 
bury our sins ? Where can we hide 
ourselves from God?' They prayed 
to Christ, and entered upon a new 
life. They made attempts at wearing 
European clothing when attending 
public worship on the Sabbath. * One 
man came in a pair of trousers patched 
with various colours ; another in a 
suit of clothes belonging to some 
English soldier ; and many of them 
wore red nightcaps.' But, oddly as 
they looked, these attempts showed 

that they were beginning to respect 

God's house and themselves. One rev. h. pearse. 

convert said : * I feel God has for- 
given my sins, and so great is the change that my very body 
feels comfortable. * A second said : * I think I am the same 
person, but I cannot say, the change is so great. If I am the 
same person, then God's grace is strong.* In this simple 
manner did these men testify that * if any man be in Christ, he 
is a new creation.' Before such testimonies, upheld and con- 
firmed by the altered lives of the speakers, the mouths of the 
heathen were closed. 

Gxaba was still heathen at heart, and, having quarrelled 
with Makass, a neighbouring chief, resolved on war. Mr. 
Pearse repaired to his residence, and exhorted him to desist. 
Gxaba listened in sullen silence, but in a day or two he came 
to Mr. Pearse and said : * I shall abide by your counsel ; if 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


you say I must not fight, I will not. Be our Umaghluli — our 
mediator — because you are our father/ Gxaba's docile mood 
was transient, and after Mr. Pearse had left, and the station 
was for a time without a missionary, he was drawn into a 
tribal fight and was killed. 

Beecham Wood passed through many vicissitudes caused 
by native wars and the shifting of the population. It was 
placed in charge of a native minister, and is now part of the 
Malan circuit, in the Gcaleka Mission. 

When Umtirara, the son of the Tembu chief Vossani, left 
the neighbourhood of Clarkebury, he made his great place at 
Imvani, an open grassy country to the south of Queenstown, 
and, having become attached to the Rev. J. C. Warner, he was 
glad to obtain him as missionary to the clan, not from a desire 
to see his people converted to Christianity, but in order to 
receive assistance in his relations with the Colonial Govern- 

Mr. Warner found the Tembus very unwilling to attend the 
services on the Sabbath, and complained to Umtirara, who 
sent for the councillor responsible for the affairs of the Mission. 
Addressing him, Umtirara said : * You must see that there is 
always a congregation to hear Mr. Warner. Mind you, I 
don't say they must be converted, but it is of importance to 
me that Warner should stay with us, and this must be done 
because he wishes it.* The native chiefs viewed the Christian 
religion as a department of statecraft, and the missionary as 
an important State agent ; conversions were few, and mostly 
of the poorer members of the tribe. Imvani is now a portion 
of the Queenstown circuit. 

After the death of Umtirara Mr. Warner removed to Les- 
seyton to commence a Mission among the Tembus from Haslope 
Hills. He lived in a Kafir hut, but within a year he had 
established a day school and two Sabbath schools, and built a 
church. In the year 1853 he was requested by the Govern- 
ment to accept the appointment of British Resident to the 
Tembus, by whom he was held in the highest respect, and his 
connection with the Wesley an ministry ceased. But he still 
took the greatest interest in Mission work, and rejoiced to see 
his two sons resign their position as magistrates to become 
missionaries to the natives. After his retirement from the 
Public Civil Service, he was elected to represent Queenstown 
in Parliament, but died on his way to Cape Town. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Shawbury was established in 1839 among a small but fierce 
tribe called the Bacas. Ncapai, their chief, resided near the 
river Tsitsa, and the station, by the advice of Mr. Jenkins, was 
placed not far from the Tsitsa Falls, where the river pours 
over a precipice, 375 feet in height, and almost vertical. 
Ncapai was violent and combative, and he and the Pondos 
were bitterly hostile. The Rev. W. H. Garner was appointed 
to unfold the Gospel among this truculent clan. The equip- 
ment of the Mission was painfully inadequate, consisting of 
two small cottages for the missionary and the catechist, and a 
place of worship made of rough poles cut from the forest, 
raised on end so that they formed the sides of a triangle, the 
ground being the base. The sides were covered with reeds 
and rushes. 

Ncapai became seriously ill. The witch doctor advised the 
usual native remedy. * The spirits are angry : you must kill 
three large oxen at three separate kraals ; then the spirits will 
be pleased, and you will get well' The illness was supposed 
to be produced by ancestral spirits, who were angry because 
they had not been sufficiently praised or provided with food. 
The slaughter of oxen was believed to restore them to good 
temper, and then the illness would cease. Ncapai was pros- 
trate on the ground with intense pain, but when he heard the 
witch doctor's advice, he exclaimed : * The doctor is a liar ! I 
will not kill the oxen. All he wants is meat. Tell Garner to 
come, and he will make me well.' Mr. Garner came, admin- 
istered medicine, prayed with him, and the chief was restored 
to health. Most missionaries found it necessary to acquire a 
knowledge of medicine, and how to treat ordinary complaints. 
Natives, when ill, sent for the missionary, or, if able to walk, 
attended at the parsonage, and expected to be treated medically 
without charge. To refuse would have thrown them into the 
hands of the witch doctor with his charms and incantations. 
To charge for the treatment would have exposed the missionary 
to the imputation of mercenary motives. So the missionary, 
already heavily burdened by his various duties, had to prescribe 
and give medicine to the natives who, every morning, waited 
outside his residence, and, at the same time, refrain from im- 
posing fees. The arrangement still continues, and is not a 
satisfactory one, but probably will not disappear until properly 
qualified medical men take up the work. 

Mr. Garner acquired great fame as a doctor. * There was a 
man on the station,' said the Bacas, * whose child was dead. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


and its soul was in its throat. Garner gave it medicine, and it 
lived and is well/ The witch doctors were enraged, for the 
repudiation of their advice meant not only the loss of meat, 
but injury to their professional character. The Bacas had a 
practice that, when a young chief attained the rights of man- 
hood, his grandfather should be killed, and his skin be made 
into a kind of amulet, to be worn by the chief. It was believed 
that qualities were transferable, and that old age would thus 
be secured. When Dushani came of age, the Bacas demanded 
the death of his grandfather, Umgema. * It must be done,' 
they said. * Madikan had such a charm, and he lived to be 
gray-headed. If Dushani hasn't one, he will die young.* Um- 
gema fled to Mr. Garner, and, at his 
intercession, the life of the old man 
was spared. 

The Bacas were swift to shed blood. 
Scarcely a day passed but some brutal 
deed was reported. A man stabbed, a 
woman beaten to death, or thrown from 
a high rock and dashed to pieces below, 
a child killed to save the trouble of 
rearing it. Every petty chief could 
put to death anyone residing within the 
area of his authority, and the fine im- 
posed, if any, was trivial. All the head 
chief was told was that * a dog had been 
killed.' Mr. Garner's denunciations of 
such atrocities were not without effect. 
When Ncapai's uncle was sick, one of 
the clan was accused by the witch doctor, and seized and con- 
demned to death. But the invalid said to the trembling victim : 
* I cannot kill you. If I do, how can I face Garner ? Let him 
go.* At another time a Baca killed and ate a leopard, which 
was food for the chief only, as it was believed that, by eating 
the flesh of the savage beast, increased courage was acquired. 
The penalty of the offence was death and confiscation of 
property. But Ncapai said : * By this he not only kills me, 
and deserves to be eaten up. Let him be thankful that Garner 
is here, and that he escapes with a fine.* 

The coimtry was infested with lions. They broke into the 
kraals and carried off the calves. They were even known to 
lie down in the porch of the parsonage, and wait for any of 
the inmates to come forth. One night a lion put his head over 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



the lower half of the frail door, and gave a terrific roar. 
The inmates had no means of defence, and had to hide as 
best they were able until the ferocious animal took his 

Ncapai made an attack on the Pondos, and carried off a 
number of cattle. He was pursued by the Pondos, over- 
taken, and killed. The Bacas exclaimed : * We see now 
what Garner said was true : " If we sow blood, we shall reap 
blood." ' 

Mr. Garner frequently lamented the deadening effect of 
barbarism on his own spiritual life. The loneliness of his 
position, the stolid indifference of the natives to Scriptural 
teaching, the lapses of those who had seemed to be converted, 
the immoral scenes he was compelled to behold, the frequent 
deeds of cruelty, created at times a deep mental depression. 
* I need a greater zeal for souls,' he wrote. * Why is my heart 
so dead ? Oh, to be wholly sanctified and free from sin ! I 
have been harassed with evil thoughts, and feel very low.* 
Such depression was followed by Divine uplifting, in which he 
received new courage for his lonely and exhausting labours. 

Shawbury, which had such an unpretentious and stormy 
commencement, developed into one of the most prosperous 
Missions in Kafirland. 

In the year 1846 the smouldering discontent of the various 
Xosa clans broke out into open war. Makoma and Sandile, 
his younger brother, had long looked upon the policy of Lord 
Glenelg with contempt. They scorned to respect boundaries, 
and small bodies of natives constantly raided the country 
between the Fish and Sunday Rivers, killing and thieving in 
broad daylight. From 1837 to 1845 nearly 100 persons were 
treacherously killed. No man could move from his farmstead 
unarmed, and cattle had to be sent to graze under double 
guards. This unrest culminated in the * War of the Axe.* 
Several of the Gcaleka clans joined the Gaikas, and together 
they rushed into the Colony as far as Sunday River, setting 
farmhouses on fire, and driving off large numbers of cattle and 
sheep. Happily, there had been time for warning, and the 
farmers on the frontier were able to form themselves into 
laagers or camps, and to defend their positions often against 
fearful odds. 

Wesleyville and Mount Coke were again destroyed by fire, 
and the Rev. J. W, Appleyard, from Pato*s tribe, the Rev. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



G. H. Green, from Mount Coke, and the Rev. H. H. Dng- 

more, from Durban, were driven from their posts, and sought 

refuge in Fort Peddie, from the walls of which they saw one 
of the most decisive engagements of 
the war. Pato, as he had threatened, 
joined the enemy, and, at the head of 
9,000 warriors, made a determined 
attack on the fort, under the walls of 
which the Fingos were collected. 
Pato's forces were eager to revenge 
themselves on their former slaves ; 
but, as they advanced to the assault, 
they were decimated by shells and 
rockets from the fort. They fled, 
swiftly pursued by the Fingos, followed 
by a troop of the 7th Dragoon Guards, 
who, overtaking the fugitives in an 
open place, rode through them again 
and again, until several hundreds were 
slain. Kama and his men came down 

from Kamastone, and, by arrangement, defended the line of 

communication from East London to Fort Beaufort, and thus 

enabled supplies to be forwarded to the British forces. 
Butterworth was once more made 

a ruin. A horde of Gcalekas, armed 

with guns and assagais, invaded the 

station, intent on robbery and violence. 

The Rev. F. P. Gladwin, who was 

unknown to most, having only arrived 

two months previously, moved un- 
ruffled amongst the excited mob with 

nothing but a switch in his hand, calmly 

directing the inspanning of the oxen, 

and the placing of his wife and children 

in the waggon. Quietly he mounted 

his horse, and they all passed through 

the fierce -looking rabble before the 

Gcalekas realized that their intended 

prey, and most of the people on the 

station, had escaped, and were on their way to Clarkebury. 

Within a few hours of their departure Butterworth was looted 

and burnt to the ground. Night came on, and as there were 

numerous bands of roving Kafirs, mattresses were placed on 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



the sides of the waggon to protect the sleepers from stray 
shots. The following morning they had not proceeded far 
when they were met by hundreds of Tembus, in full war 
costume, who had set out from Clarkebury to rescue their 
former pastor. At the sight of Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin they 
threw their shields into the air, and shouted : * You have 
come out of the mouth of the pit. You are safe now.* 
The waggons halted for refreshment, and then the travellers 
started again, escorted by the Tembus. They had got but 
a short distance when they met the women of Clarkebury, 
who, after hearing Mrs. Gladwin relate the peril through 
which they had passed, exclaimed : * Never mind : we have 
got you, whom we never thought to see again. Forget your 
troubles now.* Mr. Gladwin had been six years at Clarke- 
bury (1839-1845), and had won the love and reverence of the 

Upon arriving at Clarkebury they were received by the Rev. 
J. S. Thomas and the Rev. S. Palmer, who had ridden over 
from Bunting ville, and both urged them to move up higher to 
the other side of the Umtata, where food could be more easily 
obtained. In the evening the Mission party started, accom- 
panied by twenty-one waggons, hundreds of men, women, and 
children, with cattle and goats. They moved on rapidly 
through the night, the Rev. S. Palmer riding in front with a 
native teacher to show the way. Shortly after sunrise Mr. 
Palmer fell forward on his horse*s neck, and the teacher raised 
the cry : * Mr. Palmer is ill* Mr. Gladwin rode quickly for- 
ward and found Mr. Palmer lying on the ground. He at- 
tempted to lift his friend up, thinking he had fainted, but 
found, to his amazement, that he was dying. The excitement 
of a perilous journey had proved too much for a feeble heart, 
and in a few moments Mr. Palmer had passed away from 
earth. His body was taken to Buntingville, and buried at the 
foot of a magnificent willow-tree. Mr. Palmer's piety, *his 
extensive acquaintance with the character of the natives, and 
his influence over them, made his death a cause of deep regret 
to all lovers of Missions.* 

Clarkebury narrowly escaped destruction. A Tembu 
galloped in, bringing the news that Kreli and a large body of 
his men intended to attack the station early the next day. The 
Rev. J. S. Thomas sent word round to the chiefs, and all night 
the Tembus came in, until by daylight a strong defensive force 
had assembled. When the Gcalekas found that the Tembus 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


were not to be taken by surprise, they turned back to their own 

Bathurst lay in the direct path of the Kafirs as they entered 
the Colony, and was in great peril. The Rev. J. Ayliff and 
his congregation raised an earthen embankment round the 
Wesleyan church, and within this enclosure he and his family, 
with many of the inhabitants, resided for many weeks. The 
fires of burning farmhouses were seen in all directions. One 
morning Mr. Ayliffs son, James, was taking the horses to 
water when two Kafirs sprang upon him, and pulled him to 
the ground. The animals bolted, the Kafirs fled in pursuit, 
and the son escaped. John Ncapai, a native local preacher 
and class leader, a Fingo of fine manners and devoted piety, 
was herding cattle when the Kafirs rushed down and killed 
him. Some English settlers, who deeply respected him, at 
the risk of their lives, searched for his body, and gave it 
Christian burial. 

Messages were sent into Farmerfield by women that the 
enemy intended to destroy the settlement and drive off the 
cattle. Promptly the church was turned into a fort, in which 
Mr. Walker and his family took up their abode, and the natives 
built their huts around the church. One Sunday morning 
several hundred Kafirs attacked the village, firing volley after 
volley. Mr. Walker and the natives made a vigorous defence, 
and, at a critical moment, the Basutos living on the other side 
of the river took the assailants in flank, pouring in a heavy fire, 
and drove them off with great loss. The leader of the attack- 
ing force was found dead about loo yards from the church. 

Mr. James Howse, the brother-in-law of Mr. Ayliff, was 
farming extensively near Fort Beaufort. The Kafirs raided 
his farms, swept off 1 7,000 sheep and goats, 380 head of cattle, 
burnt five farm houses, and killed six of his servants. 

Grahamstown presented a desolate scene. The shops were 
closed, and the windows were boarded up ; the streets were 
deserted, and crossed at different points by barricades. An 
attack on the town was expected, and the troops were absent 
on the frontier. 

Salem was kept in constant alarm. The church was turned 
into a barrack and guard house. Four farmers were bringing 
into Salem some Kafirs when, suddenly, the prisoners seized 
the guns of their guards, and fired at them. Wedderbum was 
shot, and was brought into Salem, but died of his wounds. 
The prisoners escaped. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


For twenty-two months the war continued, and then the 
belligerent chiefs sued for peace. A drought had left them 
without corn, and there were no more cattle which could be 
readily stolen from the colonists. First, Stockwe gave himself 
up ; Makoma followed ; Sandile submitted ; last of all, Pato, 
haggard and thin, surrendered, saying : * I have been living 
among the monkeys. I am no longer a man, but a baboon.* 
Peace was at last restored. The district between the Keiskama 
and the Kei was added to the British dominions, and the policy 
of Sir Benjamin was adopted and acted upon. 

A portion of the press seized the occasion to assert that the 
war proved Missions were a failure ; but the tribes that waged 
the war were tribes which had rejected Christianity. Few 
native converts fought against the Colony, and those few were 
dragged into the conflict by threats of the loss of life and 
cattle. On the other hand, more than 4,000 natives, drawn 
principally from the various mission stations, bore arms in the 
defence of the Colony. This fact may be accepted as a proof 
of the confidence of Government in their loyalty. The failure 
of Christianity to prevent war lies far more seriously at the 
doors of European nations, which have had Christian teaching 
for more than 1,000 years. 

The work of reconstruction was once more commenced. 
Wesleyville was partly rebuilt, but on another site, 300 yards 
away. Within the walls of the old church a British officer, 
who had died during the war, had been buried ; and, remember- 
ing the feeling of the natives with regard to dead bodies, it was 
decided to remove the station a short distance. Wesleyville, 
however, never regained its former importance. 

Mount Coke for two years was left in ruins. Part of the 
site had bee n taken bj' the military for a camp, which was 
called Fort Murray. In 1848 the Mission was resumed on 
another site, near the Buffalo River, under the management of 
the Rev. W. Impay. A mere handful of people were all that 
at first could be collected ; but natives flocked in from the 
clans of Pato,' Umkwe, and Siwane, until the population num- 
bered more than 1,000, with 15,000 in the neighbourhood. 
New mission premises were built ; improved methods of agri- 
culture were introduced ; and, a large substantial building 
having been provided, the printing-press was removed from 
King William's Town and set up at Mount Coke, which again 
became a flourishing Mission. 

Digitized by OS)OQ1€ 


Kreli expressed his deep regret that Butterworth had been 
destroyed by fire ; but he was a master of intrigue. He said 
the mischief had been done by certain wild, ungovernable 
fellows without his knowledge, and he offered 300 head of 
cattle towards the cost of reconstruction. He begged that the 
missionary might return. Sir Harry Smith wrote a charac- 
teristic letter, combining spiritual and material appeals in the 
strangest fashion : * My son, Kreli, I rejoice to hear you are a 
repentant man. I hope this reparation is a great step towards 
your becoming a Christian. Listen to your missionary, then 
God Almighty will bless you, and your cattle will increase, 
and your land will be covered with houses and corn, and you 
will live in hope of eternal life.* The appeal was one Kreli 
would appreciate. He had many desires to be a Christian, 
but he loved the pDwer heathen superstitions gave him. His 
offer of the cattle was accepted, and Butterworth rose out of 
its ruin. The Rev. F. P. Gladwin returned, and, at his first 
service, held in the open air, Kreli came in state, and, sitting 
at the feet of the missionary, paid great attention to the 

The devastations of the * War of the Axe * had not been 
fully repaired when, on Christmas Day, 1850, there broke out 
the longest and costliest war which the Government had to 
engage in with the natives, Makoma and Sandile saw that 
their wealth and power were decreasing. The British authori- 
ties, weakly succumbing to the demands of certain ill-informed 
members of Parliament, had reduced the number of troops on 
the border, so the chiefs determined to make another and 
desperate attempt to regain their power, Kreli took an active 
part in the war. The Tembus, under Mapassa, heedless of 
Mr. Warner's expostulations, joined the Ama-Xosa, as did 
also the Kat River Hottentots, most of whom were armed 
with guns. Whittlesea was repeatedly attacked by the Hotten- 
tots, and the beleaguered inhabitants had reached their last 
charge of powder, when Kama and his men came over from 
Kamastone and fell on the besiegers with such vigour that 
they fled, leaving many of their men dead and wounded. 
Fort Beaufort was surrounded, and many of the wounded 
defenders were carried into the Wesleyan mission house, and 
attended to by Mr. and Mrs. AylifF. Mr. James Howse, who 
had lost heavily during the previous war, was captured by the 
enemy as he was riding from his farm to the village of Alice. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


He was well known to be a friend of the natives, but the chiefs 
had issued orders that no white man should be spared, and he 
was ruthlessly slain. For many months the war went against 
the colonists ; there was no pitched battle ; it was a huge bush 

The Wesleyan Mission stations suffered, but not to the 
same extent as in the preceding wars. 

Wesleyville was destroyed, and was not rebuilt. The land 
in the neighbourhood was confiscated and divided into farms 
and sold to Europeans. Nothing now remains of the * lona ' 
of Wesleyan Missions but the broken walls of the chapel, 
a little cemetery w^here a decaying tombstone marks the grave 
of a child of Mr. Shaw, whilst where the village once stood 
grow luxuriant crops of corn. But Wesleyville will ever be 
remembered with deepest interest as the commencement of 
a movement which has been of incalculable benefit to the 
natives of South Africa. 

Mount Coke was attacked three times by the Kat River 
Hottentots. The second attack was made on a clear moon- 
light night. The Rev. W. Impey, who had retired to rest, 
rose and dressed, and on issuing from his house was fired 
upon, the bullet passing between his legs. The object of 
attack was the cattle, and these having been obtained, the 
Hottentots disappeared before the troops from Fort Murray 
could arrive. At the third attack the Fingos came to the 
assistance of the residents, and after a sharp fight drove off the 
Hottentots, but not until several of the defenders had been 

The Hottentots plotted to attack Clarkebury. They arranged 
for two of their number to call at the mission house, and on 
the plea of wishing to speak to the Rev. J. S. Thomas, they 
were to get him outside, and then shoot him. The rest were 
to plunder the station, Mr. Thomas received information of 
the plot, and sent a message to Mr. Garner at Morley, sixty 
miles distant. Mr. Garner mounted his horse, rode fast, and 
got to Clarkebury in the night. Whilst at breakfast next 
morning, the Hottentot messenger knocked at the kitchen 
door, and asked to see Mr. Thomas, as he had a special 
message for him. Mr. Garner, who was a big burly man, 
rose from the table, went to the door, quietly unbuttoned the 
lower half of it, seized the Hottentot by the neck, spun him 
round, and then applied with great vigour a very substantial 
boot to the lower part of his person. The man yelled, but 

Digitized |yi-i@OQl€ 


Mr. Garner continued the application until he considered the 
justice of the case had been satisfied. When liberated, the 
fellow bolted with some others who had been lying in ambush 
awaiting results, followed by Mr. Garner, shouting, * Tell 
Uithalder I will serve him the same if he comes here.' It 
was a signal triumph of muscular Christianity. Uithalder 
was the leader of the Hottentots— a dandy, wore black kid 
gloves, and rode a white horse. When he found that his 
dream of a Hottentot kingdom could not be realized he shot 

Morley was deserted. Every man, by order of Mr. Flynn, 
the Government agent, had left to join Faku to assist in 
attacking the Gcalekas. Mr. Garner threatened that if the 
Pondos left Bunting ville he would break up the station. 
Flynn was annoyed. Civil and religious authorities were 
opposed. Flynn said it was a bad job, for if they had gone 
they might have killed 200 of the Gcalekas. Flynn seems to 
have been impetuous and imperious, fining the natives for 
trifles ; and the missionaries complained of the insulting nature 
of his messages. For a trivial offence Flynn fined Faku 1,000 
head of cattle, which he paid under the impression that if he 
refused the English would invade his country. Subsequently, 
the Government made an inquiry into the proceeding; the 
cattle were returned, and Flynn was superseded. 

Butterworth was again the chief sufferer. First came a 
message from Kreli that he could not restrain his men, and 
that Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin must leave. The next day Kreli 
sent another message, that * where they died he intended to die. 
Gladwin was his child, and would not be harmed.* Later 
news was brought that the Gcalekas were moving on Butter- 
worth with the intention of destroying it. Mr. and Mrs. Glad- 
win betook themselves to prayer, and God, in His mercy, 
answered not by fire, but by water. For five days a thick, 
driving rain fell, turning the ground into a swamp and flooding 
the rivers. Kreli's warriors, destitute of shelter, cowered 
before the persistent storm, and, wet and cold, turned home 
again. At another time the war cry was raised in the church 
during the service, and the whole congregation rushed out to 
rescue their cattle, which were being driven off. The position 
became perilous, for the Hottentots were eager to attack the 
station. In their distress Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin sought the 
Lord : * O God, undertake for us ; we are reluctant to leave. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


Guide us aright!* In December, 1851, the British troops, 
under Colonel Eyre, after a sharp skirmish at the Kei, reached 
Butterworth, and on their return to the border, by the order of 
Sir Harry Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin accompanied them to 
King William's Town. The morning after their departure, a 
huge column of smoke showed that Butterworth for the third 
time had been given to the flames. For a whole year Mr. and 
Mrs. Gladwin had remained at their post, undeterred by the 
surrounding perils of war ; but now that safety was attained 
the effects of the long strain were felt. Mrs. Gladwin sickened ; 
her new-born son died, her little strength was exhausted, and 
she passed away from earth. She was only thirty two years 
of age, and she and her infant son were buried in the same 

Little has been said in these pages of the wives of missionaries, 
but their great worth can never be forgotten. If the husband 
preached on the Sabbath, or as he travelled from kraal to kraal, 
the wife taught the native children in the school and instructed 
the native women how to make their own garments. The 
orderly arrangements of the mission house, the neatly-clad 
minister's children and their spotless purity in speech and 
action, composed a sermon which the wife preached, as 
powerful to impress the heathen as the sermon the husband 
preached from the pulpit. Her lot was cast far away from the 
resources of civilization and the pleasures of social intercourse, 
and she had to practise and enforce the most rigid economy. 
Her home might no sooner be made comfortable than the stern 
fiat of authority removed her and her husband elsewhere. 
When her children grew up, they had to be sent far away, to 
Salem, perhaps to England, for their education. In time of 
war.the wife shared the dangers of her husband, having to flee, 
and carrying not unfrequently the youngest child in her arms. 
Sometimes, for months together, husband and wife would be 
deprived of the comforts of life, and salt, sugar, tea, coffee, and 
wheaten meal were luxuries not to be had. Mealie bread, 
a cup of water, and a little milk were the only food obtainable. 
The perils of motherhood often came when no medical aid was 
within 100 miles, and when no countrywoman was near to 
minister sympathy and aid. All honour to the noble women 
who, by their hopefulness and industry, brightened homes far 
away from civilization, and by their unfailing courage lit up 
the dark days of disaster and retreat 1 Often worn out with 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


their numerous tasks, they died, and with their latest breath 
they prayed for the speedy coming of the kingdom of Christ. 
Over their graves, as over the graves of our noblest men, we 
cast our wreaths, praising God for the heroic deeds they did 
whilst they were on earth, and that now, their labours ended, 
they have joined 

' The choir invisible 
Of the immortal dead, who live again 
In lives made better by their presence.' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


A CHILL of discouragement fell on missionary effort at 
the close of the late war. Morley, Shawbury, and 
Butterworth were left without pastors. Butterworth 
was deserted for years, and the church, schoolroom, 
and mission house were heaps of blackened ruins. The church 
at Clarkebury, for want of repairs, fell into decay. Converts 
were scattered, savageism once more ruled the land, and cruel 
superstitions regained their former power. 

Heretofore, when a station was formed, a lay assistant or 
artizan was sent to assist in putting up the necessary buildings 
and to preach when needed. All these assistants were now 
withdrawn. In 1854, where seven missionaries and seven lay 
helpers had once laboured, only two ministers and one assistant 
and a catechist were appointed, and these were disheartened, 
knowing that the work was altogether beyond their power. 
Retreat in missionary operations can never be euphemistically 
described as a * strategic movement to the rear.' Native 
Christians are discouraged. The heathen think they have 
reason to triumpli. Future efforts to promote the extension of 
Christianity are made more difficult. But no one could foresee 
the tragic results of this retreat. 

In 1855 the Rev. J. S. Thomas was placed in charge of 
Butterworth, Clarkebury, Morley, Buntingville, and Shawbury, 
with the Rev. C. White as assistant, residing at Buntingville, 
and Mr. R. HuUey, a catechist, at Shawbury — an utterly 
inadequate arrangement. Mr. Thomas resided at Clarkebury, 
but as the supply of wood and water was deficient, he selected 
a more favourable site on the left bank of the Umtata River, 
about thirty miles from Clarkebury. It was an unfortunate 
choice, as the district was claimed by the Tembus, the Pondos, 
and the Pondomisi, and was the scene of frequent strife. Mr. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

232 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

Thomas named the place Beecham Wood, but it is now known 
by its native name — Ncambele. Some of the people at Morley 
migrated to Ncambele in order to be near Mr. Thomas, but 
they brought calamity in their train. 

Some time previously, Damas, the son of Faku, and ruler 
under his father of the Pondos west of St. John's River, made 
a raid on the Pondomisi, and, on their return with captured 
cattle, the Pondos were ambushed by the Umdumbi, a reduced 
tribe living by permission on the sea-board of Tembuland, and 
were assisted by some of the Morley people. Three of Damas' 
men were killed and the cattle were taken. It is a law on all 
mission stations that no native resident shall take part in 
aggressive war, and had there been a missionary at Morley it 
is highly probable this attack would have been prevented. 

Damas was angry with the Morley people, and protested 
to Mr. Thomas, at Clarkebury, against any of them being 
allowed to settle at Ncambele. Mr. Thomas deferred taking 
action until he arrived at the new station. The Pondos were 
impatient of delay, and attacked that part of Ncambele which 
was occupied by the natives from Morley. One man was 
slain, five were wounded, and a little girl was unintentionally 
burnt to death. Damas said he was satisfied now that he had 
chastised his assailants. At this stage, Mr. Thomas arrived 
at Ncambele and commenced the erection of the necessary 

He had been there only a few days when Umbola, a Pondo 
sub-chief, without the knowledge of Damas, determined to 
attack Ncambele, hoping doubtless to capture a number of 
cattle. The assault was made on a moonlight night, and the 
cattle kraal Was surrounded. Mr. Thomas had retired to rest, 
but was awoke by the noise of the conflict. He threw around 
him a blanket, and, with the native teacher, proceeded towards 
the kraal to see what was occurring. On his approach, he 
called out in Kafir: *What is the matter?* It is possible he 
was not heard in the tumult. The yells of the assailants, the 
roar of the burning huts, the shouts of the defenders, made any 
single voice inaudible. It is also probable that Mr. Thomas 
was not known by sight to the Pondos, and that clad in a 
blanket he was mistaken for a native. However, the cry came 
back : * Stab, stab, stab !' Mr. Thomas said to his companion : 
'Let us return; they will do us mischief.' Scarcely had he 
turned, when assagais were thrown, and he was struck in the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 233 

back, the neck, and the thigh. He was carried to his house, 
but never spoke again. His death was a great loss to the 
Mission. He thoroughly knew the native character and the 
native language, and for fifteen years had laboured with self- 
sacrificing zeal. 

When the news of Mr. Thomas* death was taken to Faku 
he was stunned, and could only gasp out : * I am overwhelmed. 
This has been done without me. The country is dead, and 
I am dead. Go home, and I will follow with my men.* 
Damas was not less affected. When he met Mr. Jenkins, he 
sat down and burst into tears, exclaiming : ' I had no hand in 
this. When I heard that a party of men had gone off armed 
to Ncambele, I sent a messenger to recall them, but he got 
there too late. The fight was over. I am blind, and cannot 
see what is to be done. Help me, for no one can help me but 
you.* Damas thrashed Umbola nearly to death, and ordered 
the captured cattle to be restored. He fined the offenders 
300 head of cattle and offered them to Mrs. Thomas, who 
declined to take them, so they were left at the disposal of the 
Governor. Then, afraid that the Mission might be abandoned, 
Damas begged Mr. Jenkins to write for another minister. 
* My young men are wild,* he said, * and nothing can tame 
them but the Word of God. Do let a missionary come, and 
I will show you how I can appreciate him.' 

Mr. Thomas was buried at Ncambele, but a few years later 
the body was removed to Morley, where Mrs. Thomas subse- 
quently died, and there the dust of both lies until the Resur- 

The news of this tragic death produced in the remaining 
missionaries a feeling akin to despair. They were a few soli- 
tary units placed at such a distance from each other that mutual 
support was impossible. Their work had been shattered by 
repeated wars, and the heathen were sullen and suspicious. 
Would it not be wise to abandon the country, and go to other 
tribes, more accessible to the Gospel ? The year 1856 closed 
in many mission homes amid gloom and depression ; yet never 
was it truer that the darkest moment is just before the dawn. 
Already events were preparing, which, in the overruling Provi- 
dence of God, were to assist in raising Missions in Kafirland 
to a height of prosperity surpassing the hopes of the most 

The first event was the reinforcement of the missionaries 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

234 THE AFTERMATH OF .WAR, 1865-1865 

from England. It was generally acknowledged that Mr. 
Thomas' life had been sacrificed to a mistaken policy of 
economy. Accordingly, the British Conference of 1857 sent 
out four additional missionaries, who sailed from London in 
the Alice Maud, a ship of about 350 tons burden, and, after a 
voyage of eleven weeks, landed at Port Elizabeth. The Rev. 
W. R. Longden was intended for Clarkebury, but, as he was 
suffering from weakness of the lungs, he was sent to Faure- 
smith, and thence to Uitenhage, where he put on immortality. 
The Rev. P. Hargreaves was appointed to Butterworth, but 
settled at Clarkebury. The Rev. J. Longden was to have 
gone to Ncambele, but, as the Tembus and Pondos were at 
war, he went to Buntingville, thus releasing Mr. White, who 
removed to Sbawbury. The Rev. E. Gedye took charge of 
Morley. Some of the old stations were reoccupied at last, but, 
looking at the extent of the field, the labourers were deplorably 

The second event was the destruction of the power of the 
chief adversaries of the Gospel, the proud Ama-Xosa, by their 
own ignorance and superstition. 

Early in the year 1857 a Kafir maiden, Nonquasi, went 
down to the river to fetch water. Whilst there she heard, she 
declared, voices from beneath the water, which commissioned 
her to carry this message to the Ama-Xosa chiefs and people : 
* We are the spirits of the old warriors, Ndlambe, Gaika, 
Hintza, and Makana, and we are coming back to earth to lead 
you against the white men, and drive them into the sea. We 
shall bring with us endless herds of fat cattle, plenty of guns 
and ammunition, and all kinds of food. We shall have the 
power to make old people young again, and give them immor- 
tality. To herald our coming, the sun will rise blood-red, and 
at noon it will return to the east ; a frightful whirlwind will 
sweep away all the English. But before this can happen, you 
must kill all your cattle, destroy all your corn, leave the ground 
untilled, and wait for our coming.* 

This was the startling story which Nonquasi told her 
uncle, Umhlakaza, and he retold it to the chiefs and the 
people. Kreli encouraged belief in the message, and sent 
the order from clan to clan : * Slaughter your cattle ! Empty 
your corn pits! Eat! eat! eat! No one must plough the 

The order was obeyed, and the land stank with dead beasts. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 235 

Not even a fowl was allowed to live. Grain was destroyed, 
and the people began to suffer from famine. At last the 
appointed day of resurrection arrived. The cattle kraals had 
been enlarged to receive the expected herds ; the corn pits had 
been cleaned ready for the promised grain; huts had been 
rethatched to resist the coming storm. Old men and women 
decked themselves in gala costume, and sat waiting to be made 
young again. The whole nation watched for the sunrise. The 
east grew light, the sun rose, but it was not blood-red. Morn- 
ing wore to noon : the sun did not return to the east. Not a 
breath of wind stirred the air. And then the truth dawned 
upon the people that they had been deceived. Nothing met 
their gaze but deserted kraals and empty granaries. The land 
was silent, dead — not even a cock crowed. Multitudes tried 
to reach the Colony in search of food, but thousands died on 
the road. They picked up bones bleaching in the sun, and 
gnawed them in their pain. They burned the hoofs and horns 
of cattle, and, biting portions off, attempted to eat them. 
Young men lost their voices, and, piping like little birds, fell 
dead. Whole families sat down and perished together. More 
than 30,000 persons died, and as many more were scattered 
over the eastern districts seeking for food and employment. 
The once wealthy Kreli took refuge in the rugged country 
beyond the Bashee, and had to live on charity. The power of 
the Ama-Xosa was for ever broken, and by themselves. They 
rejected the Gospel, and judgment fell upon them with a 
shock that was felt from one end of Kafirland to the other. 

The third event was the benevolent native policy initiated 
by Sir George Grey, who, both in Australia and New Zealand, 
had displayed marked ability in dealing with aboriginal races. 
Hitherto, the practice had been to fight and punish the native 
when he was rebellious, and, after having vanquished him, to 
leave him very much to his barbarous ways. The three great 
sources of native trouble were idleness, ignorance, and super- 
stition. To combat idleness, Sir G. Grey planned roads and 
other public works on which unskilled labour could be em- 
ployed. To destroy superstition, especially the power of the 
witch doctor, he proposed to establish hospitals in various 
places, only one of which — at King William's Town — he was 
permitted to complete. To overcome ignorance, he encouraged 
the formation of mission, and especially of industrial, schools ; 
and, to meet the expense of these institutions, he persuaded 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



the Imperial Government to vote considerable sums of money 
for several years. 

Sir George Grey visited the eastern frontier. Butterworth 
was still in ruins, and he urged the resumption of the Mission. 
Mr. Shaw objected : * It has been burned down three times.' 
Sir George Grey humorously replied : * I have never heard of 
a mission station being burned down four times.* The mission 
was, after some delay, recommenced. 

He also gave financial aid for the establishment of schools 
at Grahamstown and Kamastone ; and, convinced that the 
natives needed training to habits of labour, he promoted the 
formation of Wesleyan industrial 
schools at Salem, Peddie, Lesseyton, 
and Healdtown, in which native 
youths could be taught carpentry, 
shoemaking, tailoring, and waggon- 
making, and the girls could learn 
sewing, cooking, and housework. 

Salem School was conducted by 
the Rev. B. J. Shaw, and the indus- 
trial departments were under the 
supervision of Mr. Amm, a skilled 
tradesman. For half the day the 
pupils were engaged in some kind of 
manual labour, and the other half 
was devoted to education. Lesseyton 
was in charge of the Rev. J. P. Ber- 
tram, an indefatigable missionary. The 
industrial school, near Peddie, was under the care of the Rev. 
W. Impey. 

The most important institution of the four was at Heald- 
town. When Sir George Grey visited the neighbourhood, he 
saw at a glance the suitability of the position for an industrial 
school. From Fort Beaufort there extends a wooded glen, 
five miles in length, terminating in a precipice, beyond which 
is an open plateau, and across this flows a mountain stream. 
This level ground was the site chosen by Sir George Grey; 
He drew a rough plan of the proposed buildings, and gave 
;^3,ooo out of Imperial funds towards the cost. The Rev. J. 
Ay 1 iff superintended the erections, which included a mission 
house, a church, schoolrooms, workshops, accommodation for 
loo boarders, and a flour- mill. The boys learnt carpentry and 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 



waggon-making, and the girls household work and sewing. 
In 1857 Sir George Grey came to inspect the completed work. 
He greatly admired the appearance of the Institution, and, in 
allusion to some unfriendly criticism, said : * Well, gentlemen 
these castles in the air are assuming a very solid appearance/ 
He remained for the service on the Sabbath, and, at the close 
of the morning sermon, addressed the Fingos present, and 
urged them to persevere in their Christian career. Three 
years later he brought Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen 
Victoria, to see the Institution. At the afternoon service 
about 700 natives were present, and the Prince expressed his 
delight with their appearance and the hearty congregational 
singing. The Rev. W. Impey offi- 

For six years Mr. Ayliff was 
Governor of Healdtown, and then 
his health failed. In 1862 he visited 
his son, Mr. Reuben Ayliff, who re- 
sided at Fauresmith, hoping that the 
rest would be beneficial. There he 
died, saying almost with his last 
breath : * Had I a thousand lives, and 
each life ten thousand years long, I 
would give them all to Mission work.' 
He was an ardent lover of Methodism, 
and faithful to every trust. He was 
the apostle of the Fingos, and at 
Butterworth, Peddie, and Healdtown 
his name will never be forgotten. 

After Mr. Ayliff 's death the Rev. Gottlob Schreiner was 
Governor of Healdtown, and here his illustrious children spent 
some years of their early life. He was followed by the Revs. 
R. Lamplough, T. Chubb, B.A., W. S. Barton, and E. Lones. 
The educational department was controlled- by Mr. Rose, and, 
subsequently, by Mr. Birkett and Mr. Baker, all from West- 
minster College. 

After Sir George Grey left South Africa, in 1861, the 
Government, in order to reduce the expenditure, withdrew the 
annual grants from the labour schools, and they were com- 
pelled to be discontinued. The Salem institution was sold, 
and reappeared as a school for European children. Lesseyton 
was changed into a Collegiate School for European boys, and 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 

238 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1856-1865 

ultimately into a Theological Institution for training native 
candidates for the ministry, with a native girls* boarding-school 
as an adjunct. Healdtown was shorn of its industrial depart- 
ment, and became, for a time, an ordinary day school. Peddie 
school was shut up. 

The closure of these industrial institutions was a distinct 
loss to the natives, who need instruction in the various crafts. 
A nation of unskilled labourers will never rise high in the scale 
of civilization. If the Government had generously supported 
the sagacious policy of Sir George Grey, it would have found 
that the expenditure was the truest economy, for schools and 
workshops cost less than gaols and police. Twenty years later 
the policy was revived, and now scattered over the Transkei 
£ire numerous Government aided industrial schools for the 
training of natives in the simpler handicrafts. 

Sir George Grey confirmed to Kama and his people the 
grant of a tract of country along the river Keiskama, made by 
Sir George Cathcart, as a reward for their fidelity in several 
wars, and to form a barrier against future incursions. The 
land was about twenty-five miles long, and ten miles broad, 
and was endeared to Kama from old associations. Wesley - 
ville, the place of his conversion, was only a few miles distant. 
So Kama and his followers left Kamastone, by the Great 
Winterberg, and settled at Annshaw, as the central village was 
named, with the Rev. W. Sargeant as their pastor, and there 
the people have ever since dwelt, increasing in numbers, until 
Annshaw is one of the largest native circuits in Cape Colony. 
Mr. Sargeant was followed by the Revs. W. H. Garner, 
R. Lamplough, J. R. Sawtell, and W. C. Holden, and many 
were the triumphs of the Gospel which they saw. 

Kamastone was not left unoccupied when Kama left. The 
Fingos preferred to remain, under the spiritual care of the 
Rev. W. Shepstone, to whom they had become deeply attached. 
For twenty years he laboured at Kamastone, loved by his 
people and honoured by his brethren in the ministry, and there 
in 1873 he triumphantly ended his career on earth. Amid 
severe pain his bright face asserted its supremacy, and gleams 
of playful humour made smiles of I shine through tears. * The 
fulness ! the fulness ! to all eternity !* he exclaimed. Then 
speech failed him, and he passed to God in his sleep at the ag^ 
of seventy-six. He had displayed throughout a long life * the 
prudence and meekness of wisdom.* 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



We are now able to follow the operations of the Revs. 
J. Longden, E. Gedye, and P. Hargreaves, after they arrived 
at their respective stations in the year 1857. 

Mr Longden found B anting ville old-looking and dilapidated. 
During the time that no missionary had been resident heathen- 
ism had revived. The observance of the Sabbath had been 
neglected, and when the Pondos yielded so far as to attend the 
services, the men came armed with assagais and kerries. Cases 
of witchcraft were common, and attended with diabolical 
cruelty. About five miles from Buntingville lived a sub-chief, 
who was becoming either too rich or too powerful, and the 
witch doctor marked him and his family for destruction. The 
messengers of death were sent, tne unsuspecting people were 
decoyed into a hut, the door was 
fastened, then the hut was set on fire, 
and it was soon in a blaze. Some 
saved themselves by leaping through 
the flames, but seven persons were 
burnt to death, and two were crippled 
for life. Damas justified the cruelty, 
saying : * When you English people 
have a troublesome fellow, you put 
him in prison. We have no prisons, 
and the only thing we can do is to kill 

Mr. Longden went to pay his formal 
respects to Damas at his great place, 
about thirty miles from Buntingville, 
and the chief made the visit a great 
occasion. He called together a portion 
of his army, and the soldiers appeared in full war dress 
with guns and assagais. They sat in a circle about iod feet 
in diameter, the chief sitting with his counsellors, near the top, 
and at the bottom was a small opening through which Mr. 
Longden and his interpreter entered, and, walking across the 
circle, greeted the king, k good hut was set apart for his use, 
and here Damas visited him in the evening, bringing, as he 
said, * a mouthful for his supper,' which proved to be a fine fat 
beast. Damas seemed to be a pleasant man, with a desire to 
act justly ; he was a heathen, but a good heathen. One day 
he said to Mr. Longden : * Missionary, I often pray a little 
prayer I learned in your church at Buntingville, it is this : 
** Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


240 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1866 

against us." ' How much it cost Damas to offer that little 
prayer and to live in its spirit the Great Searcher of Hearts 
only knows. 

Bun ting ville was unfavourably situated, as the coarse grass, 
often 8 feet high, was unsuited for nearly all kinds of live 
stock ; and in the summer rain and fog alternated for weeks 
together. After Mr. Longden's departure, in 1864, Damas 
removed about twenty miles farther inland, nearer to the 
Umtata River, and New Buntingville was formed. The Rev. 
W. Hunter was then the resident missionary. Damas did 
not like repeated changes of pastors ; in thirty five years he 
said there had been six ministers. * If I take a wife,' he 
reasoned, * and she ran away, I can stop her. Now if Hunter * 
— there were no misters among natives 
in those days — * runs away, can I stop 
him P' Mr. Hunter replied : * Damas, 
be to me what your father, Faku, was 
to Jenkins, and I will be to you what 
Jenkins was to Faku.* This seemed 
to satisfy Damas, and he forthwith 
selected eighty head of fat cattle and 
gave them towards the cost of build- 
ing a church and a manse on the new 

Mr. Hunter became an expert Kafir 

scholar, and had several young men 

sent to him to train for the ministry, 

for whom he wrote a theological manual 

REV. w. HUNTER. in Kafir, called * Umhlobo Wabashu- 

mayeli,* or * The Preacher's Friend.' 

The doctrines of revelation were stated with great clearness 

in a barbaric language. Amongst the students were the 

Revs. Johannes Mahonga and William Sigenu. 

When the Rev. E. Gedye arrived at Morley in 1857, he 
found both church and mission house in ruins, thatch rotted 
away, floors sodden with rains, the whole place an abode of 
rats, owls, and snakes. The natives had fallen back into 
heathen habits, but Mr. Gedye did not despair. He went 
down to the shore, sixteen miles away, and manufactured lime 
from sea shells, he handled the trowel and the saw, he became 
glazier, painter, preacher, and doctor. Three school slates 
were found on the station, and the children, all but naked, were 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



driven each day, like a flpck of goats, to school. More than 
once the whole congregation, hearing the war signal, rushed 
out of church, and in five minutes the men were transformed 
into an army rushing wildly on the war path. Then came a 
gracious revival, and many souls were won to Christ. Sub- 
stations were formed, and * wattle and daub ' churches and 
schoolrooms were built. 

There were still too few missionaries, and when Mr. Gedye 
left in 1 86 1 Morley was for two years without a resident pastor. 
The people exclaimed : * We are dead to-day. Our head is 
taken from us. We are orphans, for our father is gone.* 
There can be no doubt that the natives keenly felt the dis- 
advantages of the Methodist itinerant system, with its frequent 
changes and occasional vacancies. For 
a time Morley was placed under the 
care of the Rev. J. Longden, of Bunt- 
ingville, who visited the station once 
a month, and had to travel over steep 
mountains and through the dangerous 
drifts at the Umdumbi and Umtata 
Rivers. This unsatisfactory arrange- 
ment continued until the arrival of the 
Rev. W. B. Rayner, in the year 1863, 
when Mr. Longden introduced him to 
the Morley people. 

As there had been an excessive mor- 
tality among the children at Morley, 
due, it was thought, to the unhealthiness 
of the situation, Mr. Rayner*s first 
work was to select a new site, eight 
miles farther from the coast, on higher ground, near the Ungungi 
River, and there the Mission took fresh root. For months 
Mr. and Mrs. Rayner lived in a native hut until a small house 
was erected. A neat village was laid out, a commodious 
church was built, and New Morley became an attractive place. 
From the ridge on which the station stood fifteen native villages 
could be seen, and every Sabbath parties of young men went 
out among these villages holding services, and often returning 
with heathens who wished for "further instruction. 

Old superstitions, however, die hard. A short distance from 
New Morley a native discovered lung sickness among his cattle, 
and employed^a witch doctor to smell out the man who had 
belvitched them. The owner's nephew was pointed out as the 

Digitized by ^^OQl€ 


242 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1856-1866 

guilty person. He was seized by his uncle and his relatives 
and secured to one of the posts of his house, and he was slowly 
roasted to death for thirty-six hours. The cries of the victim 
were appalling, but his relatives sat round and coolly smoked 
their pipes, heedless of his sufferings. After his death his body 
was dragged to the nearest precipice and thrown over to be 
food for birds of prey. A day of Gospel light came when these 
atrocities were banished for ever. 

Morley decreased in importance. The population migrated 
elsewhere, and the station, with its deeply interesting associa- 
tions, was deprived of European oversight. It is now a por- 
tion of the Xora circuit, and is under the care of a native 

The Rev. P. Hargreaves arrived at Clarkebury in 1857, and 
here he laboured for twenty four years. His fame as a doctor 
extended to distant villages, and medical treatment often made 
an opening for the preaching of the Gospel. At an early period 
he gained the full confidence of the Tembus, and never lost it. 
The population of the station and around it increased until it 
numbered several thousands. The mud walls of the church 
built by Mr. Gladwin in the forties had cracked, and were con- 
sidered unsafe ; they were therefore pulled down, and a neat 
brick church was erected, but on a smaller scale. The member- 
ship rose to 1,200 persons, all converted from heathenism. 

By the year 1871 it became necessary to erect a large and 
substantial church in stone. The building when completed 
was opened by the Rev. W. J. Davis, who had commenced 
his long missionary career at Clarkebury in 1833, thirty-eight 
years before, and in glowing terms he contrasted the past with 
the present. Then all were heathens ; now a thousand Tembus 
were members of society, of whom fifty were local preachers. 
Then the children came naked to school, and garments had to 
be provided for them; now ten thousand blankets, besides 
prints, calicos, axes, and ploughs, were sold annually on the 
station. Missionaries had a far nobler object than to promote 
commerce, but merchants and storekeepers were indebted to 
them for opening up avenues to trade. 

The neighbouring Tembu chief, Ngangelizwe, was passionate 
and savage, and but for the firm opposition of Mr. Hargreaves 
would often have involved the district in war. He was the 
grandson of Vossani, the Wolfs Cloak, and when a youth was 
for a short time a scholar in the school at Clarkebury, and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



resided with Mr. Hargreaves with the full consent of the tribe, 
but he never became a Christian. 

Ngangelizwe determined to attack a Pondo sub-chief, cattle 
being the object, and commanded his warriors to go on the 
war path. Mr. Hargreaves sent a messenger to warn the 
Pondos, who rapidly drove off their cattle, and the war 
collapsed. Ngangelizwe rode over to Clarkebury in a rage, 
rushed into Mr. Hargreaves' study and, flourishing a knob- 
kerrie, screamed out: *You, Hargili, you stopped me from 
going to the Pondos ; you must look out !' Mr. Hargreaves 
calmly said : * Chief, will you have a cup of tea ?* Ngangelizwe 
stared, his passion subsided, and, after a moment's pause, he 
replied : * Yes, I will.* When he had drunk the tea, Mr. Har- 
greaves said to him : * Chief, it is not 
good for you to be angry in this way.' 
* No, father,' he admitted, * it is not '; 
and, with an abashed look, he rose and 

Ngangelizwe had married Novile, a 
favourite daughter of Kreli, and in a 
passion thrashed her so severely as 
to strip her flesh off, laying bare the 
bone. In this mutilated condition, 
Novile crawled to her father's kraal 
on the other side of the Bashee, and 
complained of her cruel treatment. 
Kreli was furious, and, summoning 
his warriors, advanced on Ngange- 
lizwe, burning every Tembu kraal 
on the march. Kreli's army swept 
all before it. Ngangelizwe and his 
prepared for war that flight offered 

for several days they fled through Clarkebury towards the 
Gulandoda mountains, driving before them their cattle. At 
the approach of Kreli, Mr. Hargreaves, hoping to save the 
station from destruction and possibly stop the war, accom- 
panied by Mr. Venables, a trader, rode forth to meet him. 
On reaching the Sitebe hills, which overlook Clarkebury, they 
found Kreli's army, and at once requested to be conducted 
into the presence of the Gcaleka chief. 

Upon meeting Kreli, Mr. Hargreaves addressed him, * Chief, 
what are you about to do?* Kreli replied : *I shall not injure 
Clarkebury, but I shall punish Ngangelizwe.' Mr. Hargreaves 

Digitized b^ ^nOOQ IC 


people were 
the only safety. 

so un- 

244 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

remonstrated : * But, chief, is the sword to destroy for ever ? 
You have done enough to prove your superiority. The 
burnings and bloodshed will inflict great suffering on the 
women and childen. Why not stop ?' Kreli angrily inquired : 
* Where is Ngangelizwe ? Is he in Clarkebury ?' * No, he is 
not,' replied Mr. Hargreaves ; * I do not know where is.' 
Again and again Mr. Hargreaves entreated Kreli to recall his 
men, and return to his own country. The chief was much 
moved by these appeals, and, calling his councillors together, 
consulted them. Meanwhile, he gave directions that food 
should be furnished to Mr. Hargreaves and his companion, 
which was a favourable sign, and they, tying the meat to their 
saddles, bade Kreli good-bye. As they mounted their horses, 
they had the joy of seeing the warriors of Kreli's army rise to 
their feet as one man and start towards the coast. The day 
was won. This calm-browed man, by his simple faith and 
fearless conduct, was a * rock of defence ' to those in his care, 
and the Tembus enthroned him in their hearts. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 {Continued). 

THE war of 185 1 was attended probably with less damage 
to Mission property than any previous war, but it 
inflicted a deeper and more abiding injury to Mission 
work. It covered a wider area, it drew into its vortex 
tribes and clans hitherto friendly to the colonists, it embittered 
the natives against Europeans, and the missionaries had to 
suffer. Though Buntingville, Morley, and Clarkebury escaped 
fire and plunder, the aroused distrust of the natives, and the 
awakening of the war spirit, made Christian work increasingly 
difficult. The same hostile influence was felt in places so far 
apart as Butterworth, just beyond the Kei, and Shawbury in 
the north of the Transkei. There was everywhere a resusci- 
tated antagonism to Christian teaching; the missionary was 
not welcomed as he had formerly been, and even the morality 
of the converts on the stations became deteriorated. The 
years from 1852 to 1864 were years of continuous depression 
such as had at no previous period fallen on Mission work, and 
the workers were disheartened. Then followed the visit of 
the Rev. W. Taylor in 1865, and the Great Revival, when 
suddenly the clouds lifted and the whole scene was changed 
and irradiated with success. This will become apparent as we 
continue our brief survey of the mission stations. 

Though Butterworth was burned down in 1851, little could 
be done to repair the ravages of war until Mr. Gedye came 
from Morley in 1861. The mission house and the whole 
village had been destroyed, and nothing was standing but the 
• walls of the strongly-built church. A plantation of magnifi- 
cent yellow wood trees, in which about fifty beautiful crested 
cranes used to roost every night, and all the fruit trees in the 
mission garden had been cut down, partly by the Kafirs, but 
chiefly by the British soldiers, and used for their camp fires. 

245 Digitized by LnOOgle 

246 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

Apart from the few people who had built their huts amid the 
ruins, the whole of the district was depopulated by the cattle- 
killing mania, and the country had become the pasture land of 
various game and the feeding ground of leopards and other 
beasts of prey. 

When the Rev. E. Gedye arrived, the only place of shelter 
for him and his family was the communion end of the church, 
and here, screened from view by a curtain, they dwelt, as it 
were, 'within the veil.' When a small two-roomed cottage 
was built of * wattle and daub * it seemed ' a palace for comfort.' 
The church was restored, and at its dedication six natives 
were baptized. 

Mr. Gedye left Butterworth for Shawbury in 1864, and was 
succeeded by the Rev. J. Longden. The population was still 
small, and there were only forty-two members connected with 
the church. For about two years Mr. Longden's labours were 
confined to Butterworth, to two native locations in the Iduty wa 
Reserve, and to the headquarters of the police at Fort Bowker, 
at which place he conducted a service in English once a month. 
It was during this period that, finding the two-roomed cottage 
was too small for his family, he built of brick, almost entirely 
with his own hands, a larger mission house, which is still 
standing, a witness to the thoroughness of his work. Skilled 
mechanics were not to be had, and such labour fell heavily on 
the missionary. 

In the year 1866 the Fingos, who had greatly prospered and 
were crowded in their locations in the Colony at Peddie, Heald- 
town, and Mount Coke, were directed by the Government to 
move into the almost tenantless country around Butterworth, 
and Fingoland was formed. Where the Fingos in Hintza's 
time had been slaves they were now landowners, and as rich 
as their former masters. Christianity had made them a free 
and a prosperous people. 

The preservation of the commonage of Butterworth to the 
residents was secured in a curious manner by the unexpected 
discovery of the deed of sale. Sir Walter Currie, who had 
been appointed by the Government to superintend the settle- 
ment of the Fingos on their respective allotments and to fix 
their boundaries, on approaching Butterworth, sent word to* 
Mr. Longden that he intended to take all the mission pasture 
lands, leaving to the Mission only the land on which the village 
stood. His impression evidently was that the missionaries 
had squatted on land to which they had no title. It had 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 247 

hitherto been beUeved that the lands had been ceded to the 
Wesleyan church by Hintza ; but where was the title deed ? 
Had it perished in the mission house when it was burned 
down ? One evening Mr. Longden was sitting in his study 
anxiously pondering what could be done, when his eye rested 
on a heap of old papers lying at the end of one of the book- 
shelves. Wondering that he had never examined them before, 
he took them down, and, turning over a number of worm-eaten 
documents, came at last to one which, on closer inspection, 
proved to be the missing deed. It was signed by Hintza, by 
two of his councillors, and witnessed by an agent of the 
Colonial Government and by the resident Wesleyan minister. 
Mr. Longden' s delight may be imagined. A few days later, 
when Sir Walter Currie arrived, the document was shown to 
him. Upon reading it, he said : * Mr. Longden, this is a title 
deed ! I will not take a yard of your station lands.' These 
lands are now the recognised garden and grazing grounds of 

The area of the country the Fingos came to occupy was 
about fifty miles square. Over this wide circuit Mr. Longden 
constantly travelled in search of the new comers. He kept six 
horses in use for himself and his servant, for they had usually 
to carry with them food sufficient to last for two or three days. 
Wherever he found two or three Methodists he held a service, 
the people being summoned together by striking the broken 
tire of a waggon ; he organized a congregation, appointed a 
class leader, and arranged for a local preacher to carry on the 
work until he could visit them again. For six years — exhausting 
years — this toil was strenuously pursued, and in this manner 
were begun full forty of those churches which are so vigorous 
and prosperous in Fingoland to-day. The circuit became too 
extensive for one minister to manage, and the western portion 
was separated from Butterworth and formed into two circuits 
— Tsomo and Wodehouse Forests. 

A great hindrance to personal religion amongst the Fingos 
was the use of Kafir beer. The subject was discussed at the 
Synods from year to year ; but there was no unanimity of 
opinion. Some of the ministers made abstinence a test of 
membership, and others were unable to adopt so drastic a 
measure. Elderly natives said : * We have no teeth by which 
we can masticate our hard, grain food, and in winter we can 
get no milk ; and if you require us to relinquish our beer, how 
can we live ?* There was evidence, too, that, taken in 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

248 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1865-1865 

moderation, it prevented scurvy, to which the natives were 
very liable, as their food rarely included green vegetables. If 
the natives could have used it only as an article of diet and in 
moderation, little objection could have been offered ; but, used 
to excess, it induced quarrels and fights, and brought shame on 
the church. A native confessed : ' Master, when a Kafir places 
a can of beer to his lips, he cannot take it away until the beer 
is done.* Though in some cases a hardship, total abstinence 
appeared, therefore, to be the only safeguard. 

The abandonment of polygamy by the native converts was 
a severe test of sincerity, and often involved a painful conflict. 
At the close of a solemn service one Sabbath at Butter worth, 
a Fingo headman rose from his seat, and, throwing himself 
down in front of the communion rail, began to pray earnestly. 
The blessing he sought was realized, and he was received on 
trial for church membership. He had two wives ; one, his 
first, was old and faded, the other was young and good-looking. 
According to the rule laid down in such cases, before the 
convert could be admitted into full membership, he must 
marry according to Christian rites the first wife, and put 
away the second. The headman clung to his younger wife ; 
and it was only after a long struggle and much prayer that he 
was able to decide to separate from her and marry the older 
one. Soon afterwards Mr. Longden was walking outside 
Butterworth, when he saw approaching him the younger wife 
carrying a baby, and, on meeting him, she said reproachfully : 
* Missionary, this is your doing. I am going to my father's 
house.' Mr. Longden, though convinced the right thing had 
been done, was deeply affected ; his eyes filled, and he tried to 
comfort her. Her husband had not sent her away empty ; she 
had an ample dowry and was well cared for. She w^ent home 
to her father, but refused to marry again. In course of time 
the old wife died ; then the headman at once sent to the 
younger woman and she returned to Butterworth, when the 
two worthy people, so long separated, were married as 
Christians and were happily united once more. Such an 
instance increased the respect of the natives for the marriage 
tie and for Christian purity. 

The Rev. W. B. Rayner went to take charge of the new 
circuit of Tsomo in 1867. The circuit covered a wide area, 
and many of the places were forty miles apart. Dwelling- 
house, church, garden, out-buildings — all had to be done under 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1865-1865 249 

his superintendence and often by his own hands. This, and 
the work of preaching and pastorizing the scattered Fingos, 
occupied his exclusive attention for five years, and left no time 
for mental culture. But he had his reward. * We have now,' 
he wrote, * twenty five preaching places, thirty local preachers, 
and twenty eight classes ; and this in a land where a few years 
ago the bushbuck and the haartebeeste roamed unmolested. 
But, although our work is so extensive, 90 per cent, of the 
inhabitants are still heathen. In some instances there are 
whole locations without a single professing Christian. So, 
however vigorously we work, long years must pass away 
in arduous but happy toil before this mass of heathenism can 
be enlightened and saved.' The missionaries on the older 
stations from which the Fingos had 
emigrated had used their influence to 
detain as much as possible the 
Christian natives, with the result that 
those who came into Fingoland were 
largely heathen. This policy retarded 
the development of the new missions. 

The Rev. E. J. Barrett was ap- 
pointed to the other circuit cut off 
from Butterworth — Wodehouse 
Forests — in 1866. The population 
consisted of Tembus, from the Glen 
Grey district, with Fingos, in the 
Eastern portion of the area. The 
problem was how to make these im- ^^v. e. j. barrett. 
migrants into a Christian community. 

Seasons were good, food was abundant, and Kafir beer 
stimulated the animalism of the natives, who were little inclined 
to look at the spiritual side of life. But Mr. Barrett was in 
his youthful prime, and worked often to weariness. For days 
together he rode from kraal to kraal, talking nothing but Kafir, 
preaching under trees, living on sour milk and millet, sleeping 
on earthen floors, among natives, dogs, and fleas, until the 
round was finished. Then, for a few days' rest, he rode over 
to Butterworth, and when he got a glimpse of Mr. Longden's 
house, it was like a look into paradise. The natives gave him 
the name of * Citumsi,' or the scatterer of smoke. Often, in 
order to prevent him talking to them in their huts, they would 
burn damp wood and fill the dwelling with smoke. But Mr. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

250 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

Barrett was not deterred. He broke up the fire, scattering the 
sticks, and then held a short informal service. This work was 
continued for six years. 

Shawbury. — During the interregnum created by the war of 
1 85 1 the Bacas at Shawbury lapsed into heathen habits. On 
the Sabbath the people on the station spent their time in 
mending karosses, threshing out the corn, and lounging about 
almost naked in the sunshine. The Mission was resumed in 
1^53 t>y Mr. R. HuUey, a valuable lay evangelist, who urged 
them to attend the services ; but they cynically replied : * Shall 
we go to church naked ? We have no blankets, no clothes, and 
you will not give us any.' But Mr. Hulley was very successful 
in winning their confidence, and the station became crowded, 
so that the pasture lands were not sufficient for their cattle. 
He located many families a short distance from the station, 
and formed several sub -stations which were visited on 
Sundays by the native local preachers and himself. By this 
means the centres of Christian influence were multiplied. 
Mr. Hulley built a small house, which is now a storeroom 
and cartshed, and al$o the present church. He was a 
powerful preacher in Kafir and exercised great influence over 
the Bacas. 

In 1858 the Rev. C. White was appointed to Shawbury. 
The church was repaired, a schoolroom and a larger house 
were erected, on which Mr. White spent a considerable amount 
of his personal income. No Mission money was available, and 
in those days a missionary often spent a portion of his own 
funds to meet local needs rather than the Gospel should be 
hindered. The condition of the people improved, and heathen 
practices on the station were checked. 

In 1864 Mr. White was succeeded by the Rev. E. Gedye, 
who remained at Shawbury for eight years. It was chiefly a 
time of spiritual ploughing and sowing, and little impression 
seemed to be made on the stubborn heathenism of the Bacas. 
Few conversions were seen. 

Umhlonhlo, the Pondomisi chief, resided not far from the 
mission station, but he never really accepted Christian teach- 
ing. He desired a missionary to reside with him ; he welcomed 
the native evangelist that the Rev. E. Gedye sent ; he com- 
menced to learn to read ; but his impulse soon swung in another 
direction. When one of his children was ill he called in the 
witch doctor, who accused one of his own wives, and also a 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1865-1865 251 

wife of his grandfather, of having caused the illness. Um- 
hlonhlo ordered both to be killed. His councillors were horri- 
fied, and remonstrated : * These are the chiefs own blood : will 
you kill them ?' In a fury he rushed to his hut to get his gun, 
and the terrified men dragged the women down to a rivulet 
just out of sight, and battered their heads in with knobkerries. 
When Mr. Gedye, at his next visit, told him that for such 
murders he would have to answer to God, Umhlonhlo replied 
in a subdued manner : * I thank my missionary for being faithful. 
Satan stole away my heart, and made me angry. But do not 
be tired ; you must keep close to us and teach us.' At another 
time his own stepmother was accused of witchcraft, and he put 
her to excruciating tortures. The native evangelist hastened 
to inform Mr. Gedye, who, mounting his horse, rode hard, and 
arrived just as the poor creature was being driven out to 
slaughter. Instructing the evangelist not to leave her, he 
hurried to Umhlonhlo and pleaded for her life. The chief got 
enraged, heaped abuse upon him, and threatened personal 
violence ; but after a time he calmed down, and gave permis- 
sion for his stepmother to be taken to the mission station. 
She was lifted on to one of the horses, for she was unable to 
walk. She had been pegged out upon the ground, beaten with 
rods, tortured with black ants, and her ankles were swollen 
and furrowed with the thongs that had held her to the earth. 
Before Mr. Gedye departed Umhlonhlo lamented his cruelty : 
* You know, teacher, that heathenism is not conquered all at 
once. When you preach and pray, I feel the power and 
acknowledge the truth of God's Word ; but I was born a 
heathen, and heathenism is still strong within me. You must 
have patience and teach me better. If you were living nearer 
to me you would restrain me, and it is only you missionaries 
who can do so.' Umhlonhlo's subsequent conduct gave rise 
to the suspicion that this deprecatory attitude was due to the 
fear that Mr. Gedye might forsake Shawbury, and that he 
would thus lose the prestige of his presence. 

Mr. Gedye rode long distances to preach to the people 
dwelling on the slopes of the Drakensberg, whether European 
or native. He sought out the Basutos, then living in holes 
and caves of the rocks. He visited the English farmers, 
among whom were a few Wesleyans, and arranged for 
quarterly services. These labours were the beginnings of the 
present Tsitsana, Fletcherville, and Maclear circuits, with their 
fifteen sub-stations. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 

252 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

Palmerton, situated beyond St. John's River, was not only 
outside the area of war, but had enjoyed the continuous labours 
of the Rev. T. Jenkins, the apostle to the Pondos. The mis- 
sion village was unique, and when Mr. Shaw visited it in 1855, 
just before his departure to England, he wrote : * I do not 
know one missionary station belonging to any society in which 
neatness, comfort, and good order are equal to Palmerton. 
Mr. Jenkins works very hard. With his assistance the people 
have erected a number of very neat cottages. In this remote 
country has grown up as pretty a village as you can imagine. 
The suitable church, the commodious mission house, the neat 
schoolroom, present a pleasing appearance, heightened by the 
flower, vegetable, and fruit gardens, which are kept in admirable 
order. On the Sunday the church was crowded, and at the 
meeting of the Society about 100 members were present. All 
these were once heathens.* 

Outside the mission village, stark cruel heathenism prevailed. 
A Pondo was accused by Deya, the great rain-maker, of 
bewitching some cattle, and was sentenced to be thrown from 
a high precipice. The victim was seized, conveyed in the 
early morning to the brink of a lofty cliff, and tossed over. In 
his fall he came in contact with branches of trees, which broke 
the force of the descent, so that he arrived at the bottom alive, 
but dreadfully bruised and insensible. He lay until the evening, 
when, consciousness returning, he crawled, for three days, to 
Mr. Jenkins* house for refuge. When Deya found that the 
man had escaped, he demanded from Faku his surrender. 
Faku replied : * No ; you cannot kill a man twice.' Deya, in 
revenge, refused to make rain when ordered to do so. As a 
punishment Faku commanded him to be driven out of Pondo- 
land. As he was led across the border Deya shouted : 'I'll 
take care your country does not get a drop of rain.' Mr. 
Jenkins hearing of the threat invited the Pondos to attend the 
church on the next Sabbath and pray for rain. They came in 
great numbers, and the church was crowded. Mr. Jenkins 
addressed them on the folly of witchcraft, and showed that 
God was the giver of all good ; and then asking all to kneel, 
he prayed for rain. Even as he prayed the drops began to 
fall, and then descended in torrents, until every mountain 
stream was swollen and the land was soaked. God honoured 
His servant in the sight of the heathen. 

In 1859 the Rev. F. Mason was appointed to Palmerton to 
assist Mr. Jenkins. On his arrival Faku gave him a hearty 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 253 

• welcome, but, disappointed with his youthful appearance, said : 
* You must say exactly what Jenkins says, and do exactly what 
Jenkins does.' Mr. Jenkins, in the opinion of Faku, was the 
beau ideal of a missionary. 

Three years later, in 1862, Mr. Jenkins left Palmerton in 
charge of Mr. Mason, and went to form a new station at 
Emfundisweni, to which place Faku had removed a few months 
previously. Faku was getting old and infirm, and wanted his 
cherished friend to be near him. He shrank from a decided 
acceptance of the Christian faith, and to all Mr. Jenkins' en- 
treaties, replied : * Child, it will not do for me to alter ; if I 
did, the whole nation would go wrong.' Faku died in 1867, 
and in the following year Mr. Jenkins died, laying down his 
work and his life together. He had toiled hard, too hard in 
fact, in founding Emfundisweni. At his dying request, the 
burial service was read over his grave in Kafir. He loved the 
Pondos, was with them in their poverty, and saw them rise to 
prosperity and power. * He was,' said the Rev. F. Mason, 
who knew him intimately, * profoundly versed in native customs 
and affairs. Many mechanical arts were easy to him, and 
whatever work he did was done with great celerity. The 
blacksmith's forge, the carpenter's bench, the tinsmith's table, 
the woodman's axe, the sawyer's pit, the bricklayer's trowel, 
were almost equally familiar. On the platform he was a real 
power. His ready speech, humorous stories, gravely comic 
manner, his thorough acquaintance with the joys and sorrows 
of missionary life, his intense earnestness and spirituality of 
purpose, gave a strange charm to his homely addresses. The 
vast influence he exerted was due to his sincerity, his capacity, 
his long residence among the people, and unselfish efforts for 
their good.' 

After his death Mrs. Jenkins decided to remain at Emfundis- 
weni. * She might have returned to her friends in the colony, 
but her heart was with the Pondos. She had shared her 
husband's labour and perils. Her influence on the native 
women had been great and salutary. Her judgment was 
sound, and her piety fervent. For twelve years she sought to 
promote their best interests, and became known as ** the Queen 
of Pondoland." Her influence was of undoubted advantage to 
the Government and the Pondos. From the cos)^ corner of 
her sitting-room she could look out towards the little God's 
acre where her husband lay, and think of the time when she, 
too, would cross the harbour bar. She died in the year 1880, 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

254 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

after having spent forty-three years in Pondoland. She sleeps 
beside her husband at Emfundisweni, but never through all 
time will labourers more devoted, more sincere, live or die 

Leaving the seaboard, and crossing the Drakensberg range, 
we come to a tract of country, triangular in shape, lying 
between the Wittebergen and the Orange River, known as 

* Herschel,' on which two Wesleyan mission stations, named 

* Wittebergen ' and * Bensonvale,' have been established. This 
country was set apart for the exclusive use of the natives at 
the close of the war of 1834. It was Hterally a * No Man's 
Land,' and springbucks, blesbucks, wildebeestes, ostriches, and 
quaggas roamed the plains ; whilst in the mountains koodoos, 
and even lions, were sometimes seen. About 20,000 natives — 
Fingos, Tembus, and Basutos — moved into this country. The 
people of each clan dwelt apart in small villages scattered over 
the Reserve. The Rev. W. Shepstone, in one of his visits 
from Basutoland to Aliwal North, was assured by a farmer 
that Wittebergen was a favourable place for a mission station. 
He carefully inspected the district, and, seeking a pure, dry air 
for his asthmatic complaint, he decided to erect a church 
and a manse on a rocky plateau 70 feet high, overlooking a 
lovely valley at the foot of the Wittebergen. The walls of 
both buildings he made of clay well tramped ; the timber of 
the roofs was cut in the adjoming forest ; and the thatch was 
tied on with strips of quagga skin. The floors were solid rock 
levelled in places by earth beaten hard. In the church, 
which was 70 feet long, the seats were little walls 15 inches 
high, and the pulpit was a packing-case. These primitive 
furnishings have long disappeared, and been replaced by modern 

Then followed the usual development : the Sabbath services, 
conducted in Kafir and Sesuto ; the Sabbath school, the day 
school, and afterwards the night school. The Gospel was 
the herald of civilization. Well-built, square brick houses 
superseded in many cases the hut; waggons were acquired 
and employed in the transportation of merchandise ; and the 
pick and. the hoe were abandoned for the plough drawn by 
oxen. The men, instead of lounging idly in the sun all day, 
laboured in the fields, or built the dwellings, whilst the girls 
learned to sew and cook, and the women devoted themselves 
to household affairs. * As civilization advanced, heathen 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



customs and superstitions fell into abeyance. The Sabbath 
was generally observed, at least as a day of rest, even by the 
heathens, who kept a watchful eye on the Christian part of the 
population, and found fault at once if they saw a Christian 
carrying a bucket to the fountain, or chopping fuel, on the 
Lord's Day.' 

The station was known as ' Wittebergen,' and when Mr. 
Shepstone removed to Kamastone the work was carried on by 
the Rev. J. P. Bertram, who had married his daughter. He 
was succeeded in the year 1858 by the Rev. Gottlob Schreiner, 
and here were born his son WilHam Philip, subsequently 
Premier of Cape Colony, and his daughter, Olive, who acquired 
fame as the authoress of the book entitled, * The Story of a South 
African Farm.' In these days of rail- 
ways it is difficult to realize the danger- 
ous nature at that time of a journey 
to the annual Synod, which, during 
Mr. Schreiner' s residence at Witte- 
bergen, was held at Thaba Nchu. 
On one such journey, when half way 
there, his horses broke down ; unable 
to procure others, and being a man of 
great physical endurance, he walked 
the remainder of the journey — seventy 
miles — without a halt. Crossing a 
hollow, two lions suddenly rose within a 
few feet of him, and, all equally startled, 
they stood for several moments motion- 
less, staring at each other. Happily, Mr. 
Schreiner made no attempt to escape. 
The lions retreated a few paces, then turned and roared ; re- 
treated again, once more turned and roared, and then finally 
bolted. Mr. Schreiner, thankful for his deliverance, pursued his 
pedestrian journey, and reached Thabu Nchu in safety. 

Mr. Schreiner was followed, in 186 1, by the Rev. A. Brigg, 
who wrote a charming little book called * Sunny Fountains 
and Golden Sands,' in which he describes his work as a 
missionary at Wittebergen and Bensonvale. 

Wittebergen on the Sabbath day was a busy scene. At 
sunrise a prayer meeting was held, attended by the residents 
on the station. After breakfast the Sunday-school bell rang, 
and the children were cared for. The morning service was 
attended chiefly by Fingos, many of whom came considerable 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


256 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

distances. Frequently in the summer time there would be 
crowds sitting outside the chapel, but joining in the worship, 
the windows being open. At its conclusion twO classes met 
in different places, while the Sunday school was again held in 
the chapel, many adults, including the old and gray-headed, 
attending. At two o'clock service in Dutch for the half-castes 
was commenced, the sermon being interpreted for the Basutos 
who were present. After this there was another class. In 
the afternoon those living at a distance wended their way 
homewards, and the station people cared for their sheep and 
cattle, seeing them properly folded for the night. At dusk 
the evening service was held, which was conducted entirely 
in Sesuto by one of the local preachers. On Monday morning 
early there was a prayer meeting, the bell often ringing while 
it was still dark, and on all the other mornings classes were 
met at the same early hour. Even in winter the members 
would attend these meetings, walking barefoot through the 
hoar-frost, and leaving their implements of husbandry outside 
the door, ready to take up on coming out of the meeting. 

* To men and women converted from heathen darkness, and 
having acquired the art of reading in adult life, the Bible 
presented a garden of inexhaustible sweets — an Eden of 
delights. At family worship in the Kafir hut, the wood fire 
burning in the centre of the floor with no outlet for the smoke, 
the head of the house would sit with the sacred volume in one 
hand, and in the other a rude lamp, consisting of a saucer 
or shallow calabash of melted fat with wick of twisted rag, 
lighted, and leaning over the side, which wick, as necessity 
arose, he would dress and snuff with his fingers. Often 
Christian natives were seen ensconced in the * ipempe,* or little 
temporary hut, erected in the middle of their corn land, where 
they sat securely sheltered from the sun or rain, guarding 
their growing crops from trespassing cattle or predatory birds, 
and passing the time in the study of the Word of God, or 
lifting up their voice in a hymn from its companion volume.* 

Twenty miles from Wittebergen, in a central position, 
another station was formed in the Reserve in 1861 by the 
Rev. J. T. Daniel, and named * Benson vale.' The valley was 
one of the most fertile spots in that part of the country, a 
basin among the hills, abounding in water and vegetation. 
At the lower end was a natural lake, the resort of numerous 
herons and other wild-fowl. Close to the lake was laid out 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 257 

the village, composed of pretty cottages, each with a small 
garden attached. At the upper end of the valley the church 
and mission house were built, and were surrounded by beauti- 
ful trees, in which herons nightly roosted. Here for twelve 
years Mr. Daniel laboured, and the people became exceed- 
ingly attached to him. When, in 1872, he was appointed to 
Thaba Nchu, and Mr. Brigg was sent to succeed him, the 
change was distasteful to the Bensonvale people. A deputation 
waited on Mr. Brigg at Wittebergen, and they told him he 
was not wanted at Bensonvale, and that if he came they 
would all turn out and leave. Of course, the change took 
place; but when Mr. Brigg arrived at Bensonvale he met 
with no welcome. Mr. Daniel had commenced the erection 
of a new church, and when he left the walls were 4 feet high, 
and the opposition took the form of refusing to proceed with 
it. Seeing the indifference of the men, the women set to work, 
and trod clay and made bricks ; but still the men stood aloof. 
Mr. Brigg adopted the following expedient : Calling the prin- 
cipal men together, he told them they were acting like 
children ; but one thing was certain, the chapel should be 
built, and if they would not help to complete it, he would 
obtain help from his old people at Wittebergen, and it would 
then be said that the Wittebergen people had built their 
chapel for them. This roused the men to action. Waggons 
were provided, timber was cut, the roof was placed in position 
and thatched, and within fifteen months of his arrival the 
building was completed. The Rev. James Scott from Bloem- 
fontein, the Rev. R. Giddy from Wittebergen, the Rev. J. T. 
Daniel from Thaba Nchu, conducted the opening services. 
On the following Monday a mass meeting was held in the 
open air, under the shade of the trees. Mr. H. J. Halse 
presided. *A few short speeches were made, and then the 
collection. The largest tea-tray that the mission house could 
furnish was placed on the table in front of the chairman, to 
be used as a collecting plate. During an hour or two a con- 
tinuous stream of silver and gold flowed in, each one's name 
and contribution being written down, and when the last coin 
had been received the proceeds were counted, and found to 
amount to £i"j'i' ^^^ chapel was not only completed and 
opened, but was out of debt.' It comfortably seated 500 
persons ; but before Mr. Brigg left Bensonvale the work had 
so prospered that on sacramental occasions the class members 
alone were unable to find accommodation within its walls. 

Digitized by VJrOOQlC 

25S THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1856-1866 

Eight miles from Bensonvale, to the east, was a dark gap 
in the mountain range, but of the country called Blikana that 
lay beyond it Mr. Brigg could only learn that it was tenanted 
by a fierce, barbarous tribe of Tembus, who were shunned by 
all the traders. Mr. Brigg urged some of the native local 
preachers to penetrate this dark region, but they declined to 
face the imknown perils. ' We shall be stoned,' they ex- 
claimed; *and they will not hear us.' Whilst Mr. Brigg was 
revolving in his mind how to obtain access to this district, 
one day three stalwart Tembus, in their red paint, approached 
the mission house, and sat down under the trees. 

* Where are you from ?' asked Mr. Brigg as he approached 
them, * and what do you want ?' 

The middle figure of the three threw off the blanket from 
his left side, disclosing a massive ivory ring, the sign -of 
chieftainship, and one of his companions said : * This is Gibisela, 
Chief of the Tembus in the Blikana' 

* I have come,' said Gibisela, * to present two requests : one 
is for a shop to be established among my people, and the 
other is for a missionary.* 

* What do you want to buy ?* 

* Everything.' 

* What ! Trousers, blankets, picks, dresses, hats — all these ?' 

* Into zonke ; yes, everything.* 

* Brandy ?' 

* Yes, brandy ; that*s what we want more than the other 

* Gibisela,' replied Mr. Brigg, * if I were your greatest 
enemy, I might put brandy before you. Don't you know that 
it causes quarrels and enmities, and kills people ?* 

*Yes, I know all that; but if you were to put a bowl of 
brandy before me, and you were to tell me that it would kill 
me if I drank it, I should drink it at once.' 

Gibisela was told that a native teacher would be sent, and, 
if the traders were willing, a shop would be opened, but no 
brandy would be sold. 

A few weeks later Mr. Brigg rode through that mysterious 
mountain gap on a visit to Gibisela, who placed a hut at his 
service, and gave him a site for a station. Mr. Brigg was 
curious to find out what had led Gibisela, who had evidently 
no desire to forsake his heathen customs, to visit Bensonvale 
and ask for a missionary. Was there some force, unseen, to 
which could be attributed all that had taken place? He 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



asked : * Are there any Christians in the neighbourhood ?* 
* Yes, one, a woman ; but she lives a long way off.' At his 
next visit Mr. Brigg, having specially invited her to come, 
met this woman, and found her a Christian indeed — a humble, 
joyful follower of the Lord. The tears flowed down her face 
as he shook her hand and inquired into her history. She had 
been converted at Queenstown, and when her husband died 
she had returned to her own people. * That was three years 
ago,' she said, * since which time I have never ceased to pray 
for a missionary ; and now to-day I see him with my own 
eyes, and my tears are tears of joy.' Here was the secret. 
This lonely Christian for three years had lifted up her 
effectual prayers, and now she had obtained her petition. 
Paulus, a teacher trained at Heald- 
town, was sent; a Christian village 
was formed, and to-day Blikana is the 
head of a native circuit, with a native 
resident minister. 

Only a passing allusion can be made 
to several stations formed among the 
Tembus. Glen Grey was occupied 
by the Rev. W. Hunter in 1861, and 
Mount Arthur by Mr. Wakeford, an 
evangelist. In 1870 Mr. Hunter re- 
moved to Mount Arthur, and held 
Glen Grey as an out- station. At a 
later date Fransbury and Lady Frere 
were made separate circuits, with a 
European minister at the latter place, 
where a pretty church was erected in 
1895. In 1882 Seplan and Wodehouse 

Forests were placed in the care of native ministers, who were re- 
sponsible to the minister at Mount Arthur. At Southey ville a 
church has been erected to the memory of the Rev. J. Wilson, 
who when at Cala often rode over to minister to the European 
population. The Glen Grey Act, creating Native Councils and 
providing individual titles to land, proved highly beneficial to the 
natives. Within twelve months of the enforcement of the Act 
the chief inspector reported that the prison at Glen Grey was 
empty, and with the cessation of the liquor traffic crime had 
largely decreased. 

One other Mission needs to be noticed, which, though 
attacked in the war of 1851, escaped serious injury-rrMount 




Coke. In 1854 ^^e Rev F. P. Gladwin was in charge, but that 
which invested Mount Coke with special importance was the 
work of the Rev. J. W. Appleyard, editor and translator. From 
the Mount Coke printing press issued spelling books, readers, 
catechisms, and New Testaments, all in Kafir, and for which 
there was an increasing demand. In those days of sailing 
ships and slow posts the conducting of a printing-press was a 
constant test of temper and patience. Type arrived from 
England, but sometimes no paper, and a few reams had to be 
obtained from the nearest merchant. Occasionally Mr. Apple- 
yard complained that either the compositor or the bookbinder 
had been intoxicated and unfit for work. But these annoy- 
ances had to be endured. It was impossible to secure at a 
private press the correct printing of 
books in Kaffir. There was another 
Mission press at Thaba Nchu, under 
the superintendence of the Rev. R. 
Giddy. The time came when books 
in Kafir could be correctly and more 
cheaply printed in England, and then 
both printing establishments were 

Two works printed at the Mount 
Coke press deserve mention. One 
was the Kafir Hymn-book, which at 
a later date was enlarged. MDst of 
the hymns were composed by the 
Revs. J. W. Appleyard and H. H. 
Dugmore, and a small number by the 
Revs. E. Gedye, W. Hunter, and 
others. A tune-book to accompany it was printed in 1891 
in London, under the editorship of the Rev. J. W. Househam. 
A liturgy in Kafir was revised by the Rev. E. J. Barrett, 
who used Mr. Appleyard's version of the Psalms. 

The other work was the translation of the whole of the Bible 
into Kafir. As preliminary, Mr. Appleyard pubUshed in 1850 
an entirely new Kafir Grammar, which was really an able 
treatise on the history and structure of the Kafir language, 
and embodied ten years of patient labour. Dr. Bleek spoke of 
it * as a work of the highest importance and value to South 
African philology.' But Mr. Appleyard's magnum opus was the 
translation of the Bible into Kafir. Portions of Scripture had 
previously been translated. The missionaries of the Free 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1856-1865 261 

Church of Scotland, of the London Society, and of the Berlin 
Mission, had rendered valuable aid ; but undoubtedly the 
Wesley an missionaries had been pre-eminent in the work. 

The Rev. W. Shaw had translated Genesis ; the Rev. W. B. 
Boyce, twelve books of the Old Testament and Luke ; the 
Rev. W. J. Shrewsbury, Isaiah, Joel, and James; the Rev. J. 
Ayliff, Judges, i and 2 Timothy, and Titus ; the Rev. W. 
Shepstone, Joshua ; the Rev. H. H. Dugmore, the Psalms ; 
the Rev. W. H. Garner, Ruth ; and the Rev. E. J. Warner, 

To obtain native words and phrases to express Christian 
ideas had been attended with great difficulty. There was no 
word in Kafir for God, and the word * Utixo,* primarily a 
Hottentot word, had to be introduced. Other words had to 
be cleared from lower associations to express the Christian 
doctrines of Christ, of pardon, of purity, and heaven. These 
difficulties, however, had been overcome, and the way was now 
open for a translation of the whole Bible. For this work Mr. 
Appleyard was well qualified. He understood Hebrew, Greek, 
Latin, Dutch, and Kafir, and had read most of the current 
works on Biblical science. His method was to read a verse in 
the original, then in English and in Dutch, afterwards care- 
fully to translate it into Kafir, and this was subsequently read 
over with an intelligent native teacher. All this required great 
patience and long-continued labour. The work of other trans- 
lators was revised, and in some instances almost a new trans- 
lation was made. He displayed great judgment in selecting a 
pure and dignified phraseology. From early morning to late 
at night the work of translation went on. An edition of the 
New Testament in Kafir had been printed in 1846 ; a revised 
edition of this was issued in October, 1854. ^^o months 
later, in December, 1854, Mr. Appleyard commenced the 
translation of the Old Testament. For more than four and a 
half years he laboured devotedly at the work, and at length in 
September, 1859, he had the pleasure of seeing the whole Bible 
in Kafir completed and printed at the Mount Coke press, and 
bound in two volumes. Mr. Appleyard's labour entitles him to 
the honour of being called * the Tyndale of South Africa.' In 
1880, at the request of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 
he went to England, and spent four years in superintending the 
issue of a new edition, printed at the sole expense of that 
Society, and which was published in one handy volume. 

This translation, unhappily, was not favourably received by 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

262 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR, 1855-1865 

the Scottish and German missionaries, who issued a pamphlet, 
containing, what many persons considered, needlessly severe 
strictures on Mr. Appleyard's work, and they demanded another 
translation. Mr. Appleyard replied in a booklet entitled * An 
Apology for the Kafir Bible.* He did not claim that his trans- 
lation was faultless — no first translation is — but it was the 
best he could then produce. He did not shrink from fair and 
candid criticism, but at the same time he considered that many 
of the objections were prejudiced and unjust. The Scottish 
and German missionaries were still dissatisfied, and appointed 
a revising committee ; but they agreed that Mr. Appleyard's 
translation should be made the basis of their labours. This 
agreement was not adhered to, and the revisers proceeded to 
make what was practically a translation of their own. The 
version they produced was alleged to be a more accurate 
rendering of the original Greek or Hebrew, but the language 
employed was to a large extent that of the natives living in the 
neighbourhood of King William's Town. Whilst they made but 
scanty use of some of the best and most effective Kafir words, 
they used others which were little known. Mr. Appleyard's 
translation was simpler in its style, contained fewer tribal 
peculiarities of speech, and was intelligible to the natives 
generally as far as Natal, and to this day is preferred, espe- 
cially by the older people. The Bible Society for some years 
printed only the new version ; but in the interests of Missions, 
and at the request of the Wesleyan Conference of South 
Africa, it now prints Appleyard's version also. 

Mr. Appleyard did not excel as a preacher. His voice was 
weak, his health was frail, his imagination was inert ; but he 
had a genius for translation. His homely, lovable character 
lives in his great work, which will never perish. He continued 
at his editorial duties until 1874, when he became enfeebled, 
and removed to King William's Town for medical advice. He 
died in the house of his friend, the Rev. T. Chubb. * I have 
not a doubt or a fear,' he said shortly before the summons 
came. His sun set in an unclouded sky. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


THE history of the Methodist Church in South Africa is 
a history of many revivals. When heathenism has 
seemed to triumph, when the workers have been faint 
and almost despairing, God has raised up the herald 
of a brighter day. We have now to write of a revival that 
extended from Cape Town to Durban, which quickened 
European and native churches alike, and in which thousands 
of persons professed to find a new life in Christ. Out of the 
spiritual world it came, silently, irresistibly, and, like the 
spring, left *no corner of the land untouched.' The extra- 
ordinary nature of the work, the amazing power which at times 
attended the preaching of the Gospel, and the immediate 
results, are without a parallel in this country, and recall the 
scenes in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. 

The Rev. William Taylor was an honoured minister of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America. 
He laboured for several years in California, among the motley 
population attracted thither by the discovery of gold. Im- 
pressed with the conviction that he was called of God to be an 
itinerant evangelist, rather than a settled pastor, he obtained 
leave of absence, and travelled through the States, preaching 
wherever he had an opportunity. He visited Canada, where 
he remained for four years, and then proceeded to Australia, 
where his wife and children joined him. His son, Morgan 
Stuart, had a serious attack of malignant fever, and, on his 
recovery, was ordered to leave Australia and try the effect of 
a sea voyage, as well as the cooler climate of the Cape. 
Accordingly, at the end of March, 1866, the Rev. W. Taylor 
and his family landed at Table Bay. 

Though Mr. Taylor knew little of the country to which he 
had come, he fully believed that he had been led thither by the 
hand of God, and that the work awaiting him was the preach - 

2^3 Digitized by LnOOgle 



ing of the Gospel — where, and to whom, he had yet to learn. 
He was an evangelist of the finest type. Tall and muscular, 
and in the prime of life, he was capable of great labour, with- 
out fatigue. He had a penetrating voice, under complete con- 
trol, and to preach Jesus to the lost, to the neglected, even to 
the street wanderers, was with him a passion. Food, clothing, 
home, friends, he left to the Lord to supply. To save sinners 
was his one paramount work. Yet his preaching rose rarely 
to the heights of impassioned speech ; he made little appeal to 
the emotions ; he deprecated excitement ; his addresses were 
calm, deliberate, logical, incisive, but, accompanied as they 
were by the Spirit's power, they placed his hearers as in the 
presence of God, and foreshadowed the solemn scrutiny of the 
Judgment Day. Then followed tender 
unfoldings of the love of Christ, which 
filled the eyes with tears, and sub- 
dued the heart into penitence and 

It was not clearly seen at the time, 
but it is now easy to discern, that the 
times were favourable to a revival of 
vital religion. From 1863 ^^ 1865 
were black years in the history of 
Cape Colony. A prolonged heavy 
drought had crippled the farmers. 
This was followed by widespread 
insolvency amongst the merchants 
and traders. Lung-sickness swept off 
thousands of cattle, and large numbers 
of sheep perished from the drought. 
Money became scarce, and families, once in prosperous circum- 
stances, were reduced to poverty. The population had thus 
been learning the uncertainty of earthly riches, and their 
thoughts had been turned to higher good. In many circuits 
special prayer meetings had been commenced ; and when Mr. 
Taylor arrived, and it was known how signally his labours had 
been successful in other lands, desires after spiritual blessings 
were quickened into expectation. Into this prepared soil 
Mr. Taylor was permitted to cast the seed of the Word, and 
to reap a marvellous harvest. He made God, the forgiveness 
of sin, heaven, and eternity real and supreme to multitudes, to 
whom these words had hitherto been meaningless symbols. 
* Leaders in vice became champions of the religion they had 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 265 

once reviled. Men of profligate lives with bitter shame made 
confession, and endeavoured to repair the evil of their former 
courses. Drunkards, who had been the terror of their families, 
renounced the use of intoxicating liquors. Profane swearers 
shuddered at the recollection of their former oaths. Frauds 
and wrongs were acknowledged, and restitution made. Quarrels 
that had lasted for years ended in reconciliation. These,' as 
the Rev. H. H. Dugmore said at the time, * were specimens of 
the practical effects of the revival. They told their own tale.' 

It is needless to say that wherever Mr. Taylor went he re- 
ceived a hearty welcome from the Wesleyan ministers. His 
unassuming manners, his scrupulous delicacy in abstaining 
from any interference in local church affairs, his shrewd 
observations, and his intense devotion, won their aflfection, 
and they honoured the gifts of God in him. 

Mr. Taylor commenced his work in South Africa at Cape 
Town, in the Wesleyan church in Burg Street. At first the 
church was only half filled. For nine days Mr. Taylor con- 
ducted services, and delivered thirteen addresses. His prac- 
tice was to commence by enforcing the requirements of the 
law of God, as exhibited chiefly in the Ten Commandments, and 
to press home on the conscience the guilt of wilful disobedience. 
In successive sermons he set forth Christ as the loving, omni- 
potent Saviour of sinners, and then urged all who desired to 
accept Christ to kneel at the communion rail, in order to be 
prayed for and to be instructed. Few persons came forward 
on the first night, and on the ninth day, at the close of the 
services, only twenty-one had given satisfactory evidence of 
their conversion. Mr. Taylor was disappointed with the 
result. In Australia he had preached in large churches to 
packed audiences, and hundreds had responded to his appeals. 
But the Methodist people in Cape Town were despondent, and 
for years had been struggling with debt. The belief in the 
conversion of sinners, whilst actually listening to the preacher, 
seemed incredible. Mr. Taylor's boldness startled them. * I 
look,' he said, *for the immediate conversion of sinners. When 
the people cried out at Pentecost, " What shall we do ?" did 
Peter tell them to go home and meditate, and call at his house 
next day, and he would have a talk with them on the subject ? 
When the Holy Spirit awakens sinners, He is waiting to lead 
them directly to Christ.' However, if the immediate result of 
the services at Cape Town was small, it was the first page of 
a glorious history of extended revival. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

266 A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

At Port Elizabeth and at Uitenhage the work proved still 
to be limited. The churches were small, and the helpers were 
few. At both these towns Mr. Taylor made attempts to preach 
to the natives through an interpreter, but the result was dis- 
couraging. * I did not enjoy the service,' he said, * and saw 
but little indications of good from the effort.* Yet it was in this 
direction the greatest triumphs of his preaching were to be won. 

At Grahamstown the work began to expand. Mr. Taylor's 
shrewd, practical sense was here curiously displayed. * Com- 
memoration Church,' he declared, *is not fitted for the scene 
of a great revival. It is not sufficiently ventilated. Carbonic 
gas blunts the nervous sensibilities of the people, and sends 
them to sleep. It is out of the question to have a great work 
of salvation without a good supply of oxygen.' The officials 
stared, and were almost aghast at the idea that oxygen was as 
necessary as prayer to a revival ; but one of them, Mr. Attwell, 
promptly ascended the stairs to the gallery, and, with hammer 
in hand, knocked out several panes of glass from each window. 
For three weeks Mr. Taylor continued the services, and more 
than 170 persons professed to find forgiveness of their sms. 
One gentleman bore a clear testimony to his conversion : * I 
have lived forty years in sin, tried horseracing, cards, billiards, 
and otherworldly amusements, but never knew what happiness 
was until the Lord pardoned my sins.' The revival became 
the one topic of conversation. In the store and on the market, 
in the street and in the home, this wonderful work of God was 
the great theme of discussion ; and, as of old, some were 
puzzled, some scoffed, whilst many rejoiced that God had 
visited His people. 

Sir P. D., the local commandant of the British troops, when 
in the hands of his barber one day, inquired in a somewhat 
cynical manner : * Who is this man Taylor — aw — who is making 
such a stir in the town ?' * Oh,' blandly replied the barber, 
* have you not read. Sir P., of men who, in olden time, turned 
the world upside down ?' * Um, yes,' said Sir P., * I have 
read something of the sort, I think — aw — in the Acts of the 
Apostles, is it not ?' * Ah, well,' said the barber, with a 
flourish of the razor, * I beheve that Mr. Taylor is a distant 
relation of those men !' 

Mr. Taylor made another attempt to preach to the natives 
through an interpreter, but, said he, * I found it very slow 
business.' When the right interpreter was found, a very 
different result was attained. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




At King William's Town the congregation was at first irre- 
sponsive. The people had a self-possessed, wide-awake spirit, 
and were apparently suspicious of deception, but slowly the 
power of the preached word grew. 
On the fourth day the barrier of re- 
serve was broken down, and twenty 
eight young people sought the Lord. 
On the following Sunday the Holy 
Spirit fell upon the hearers, and twenty 
six adults were seekers of God*s pardon- 
ing mercy. Strong men bowed them- 
selves, confessing their sins. 

During the first week's services 
three Wesleyan ministers, accom- 
panied by a few natives, walked in 
from Annshaw, twenty -four miles 
distant, in order, as they said, * to 
warm themselves at the fire.' They 
were the Revs. R. Lamplough, J. Hil- 
lier, and J. R. Sawtell. With them 

came Charles Pamla, then preparing for the ministry, and 
destined to be the ideal interpreter for Mr. Taylor when 
preaching to natives. He stood 6 feet high, was black as jet, 
and had a powerful voice. Above all, 
he was an earnest Christian, and had 
sold home and farm that he might 
devote his whole life to the work of 
teaching Christianity Xo his country- 
men. He had studied Wesley's writ- 
ings, and when appointed to conduct 
a service would often read one of 
Wesley's sermons, and endeavour to 
make it plain to his hearers. No 
better training could at the time 
have been provided to enable Pamla 
to interpret the utterances of one 
who in his preaching exhibited not 
a little of the terse directness and 
logical force of John Wesley's ad- 
Whilst Mr. Taylor was preaching to the English congrega- 
tion, Pamla devoted several days to preaching at the native 
location. His word was with great power ; it pierced the con- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




sciences of the people, and during three services nearly eighty 
persons, chiefly young men and women, were converted. Even 
after he left the work continued until 136 natives were added 
to the church. 

The Rev. J. Hillier received a wonderful revelation of Divine 
love. He returned to Peddie, one of the largest mission settle- 
ments at that time, and prayed and preached as if inspired 
from heaven. A marvellous revival followed, and hundreds 
of natives yielded themselves to God. Then came a brief 
illness, and the busy worker exchanged pain for rest, and earth 
for heaven. In those last few weeks 
had been compressed the work of a 

At Annshaw, Mr. Taylor may be said 
to have commenced his work amongst 
the natives. Here Charles Palma had 
for years been an unpaid evangelist, 
and had been carefully trained by the 
Rev. R. Lamplough. It was Mr. Tay- 
lor's practice to preach the sermon 
privately to Pamla, so that he might 
fully understand what he had to trans- 
late in public ; and so thoroughly in 
accord did the two become that the 
tone of voice, the facial expression, and 
the gestures of the one were faithfully 
portrayed by the other. At the first 
service at Annshaw, Mr. Taylor preached for an hour and a 
quarter amid the profoundest silence. At the second meeting, in 
the afternoon, the solemn feeling increased ; and when penitents 
were invited to advance, 200 at least stepped forward, and knelt 
down in prayer. There was no loud screaming of anyone, but 
their pent-up emotions found vent in audible prayers, sighs, 
and floods of tears. Some one timidly suggested : * Had they 
not better be dismissed, and let them go alone, and seek by the 
river ?* * No,' shrewdly replied Mr. Taylor. * Why send them 
to the river to battle with Satan alone, and take a bad cold as 
well ? This is the work of God. Let the good Spirit work in 
His own way.' That day seventy persons professed to find 
remission of sins. 

The heathen endeavoured to account for the wonderful effect 
of Mr. Taylor's preaching. * He had brought a medicine with 
him that made the people mad.' * He had sprinkled the com- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 269 

munion rail with blood, and as soon as any native touched it 
he was bewitched.' * He blew in their ears, and they were 
forced to submit.* Some of the heathen resorted to violence, 
and husbands thrashed their wives and children to deter them 
from attending the services. But nothing arrested the progress 
of the work. Mr. Taylor's visit to Annshaw was limited to 
two days, but not only were hundreds of natives brought to 
religious decision, the effect on the native local preachers was 
astonishing. They became bold for the truth. William Shaw 
Kama, Charles Pamla, Joseph Tele, and* Boyce Mama, after 
Mr. Taylor's departure, visited the neighbouring heathen kraals, 
preaching and praying, almost night and day, until about 300 
more persons were brought to the Saviour. An old man, 
residing eight miles from Annshaw, was roused at night by 
the singing of his grandchildren, and, being told of the wonder- 
ful services at which they had found salvation, he at once set 
off, and walked into Annshaw about break of day. A prayer 
meeting was being held in the church. He went in, and, 
listening to the prayers of the new converts, he fell down on 
his knees, and before the day was over he was happy in a 
Saviour's love. He had two wives, and he asked : * What 
shall I do with them ?' Mr. Lamplough said : * You will have 
to give one of them up.' * Well,' replied the old man, * one is 
a young woman, and I love her. The other is an old woman, 
but the wife of my youth. She cannot work much, but she is 
my true wife, and I will keep her. But tell my young wife I 
am not angry with her.' When the decision was announced 
to the two women, the old wife cried out : * I aw glad. I always 
loved my dear old man. I am so glad to get him back to me, 
and now he is all my own.* The young wife stood weeping, 
but exclaimed ; * I thank God for this. I have felt I was living 
in sin, and now I want to find Jesus Christ, too.' Tearing off 
her heathen charms and trinkets, she resolved that she and her 
children would become Christians. Who will say that these 
people were not taught of God ? 

The results of the services at Healdtown equalled those at 
Annshaw. About 1,000 natives were present. In the first 
after-meeting about 300 sought salvation together. As 
they obtained a sense of the forgiveness of sin by faith in 
Christ, they were led to seats to the right and left of 
the chutch, where they gave their testimony to the Rev. W. 
Sargeant, who took down their names. With sparkling eyes 
and beaming faces they praised God. * Oh !' said one, * Satan 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

270 A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

is conquered.' A very old woman exclaimed, with uplifted 
hands : * He is holy ! He is holy !' An aged man said : * My 
heavenly Father hath set me free.' In two days more than 
300 persons rejoiced in the Lord. 

Was not such a work too sudden to be permanent ? Was it 
not a straw fire that would soon burn out ? But was the 
work really sudden ? The emergence of a young plant above 
the soil appears to be sudden ; but we know that for days, 
perhaps for weeks, there has been a process of preparation 
going on out of sight. The seed swelling, the thrusting down 
of the root, the gathering of moisture and vitality. The sudden 
lifting of the green blade above the soil is the outcome of a 
series of hidden processes extending over many days. These 
converts at Healdtown and Annshaw had for years been 
listening to the preaching of the Gospel. Impressions had 
been made, truths had been taught, consciences had been 
trained ; and their conversion was the emergence into sight of 
a work of long duration. Twelve months later, when Mr. 
Sargeant left Healdtown for Grahamstown, he wrote : * Out of 
about 400 persons professing conversion to God, not more than 
two or three have fallen away.' This steadfastness showed 
that their decision for Christ, though it appeared to be sudden, 
had certainly not been superficial. 

At Somerset East persons came sixty and seventy miles to 
attend the services. Living on solitary farms, to whom no 
church was easily accessible, they had relapsed into an irre- 
ligious and prayerless life ; but the conversion of their friends 
at other places had quickened in them a desire to be saved. 
* I am a dreadful sinner,' said one of these visitors, * and I 
thought there was no hope for me ; but when such a man 

as C finds peace in God, I don't see why anyone should 

despair.' That man drove back to his distant farm happy 
in God. 

Mr. Taylor had, by this time, become accustomed to preach 
through an interpreter. But at Cradock he ventured to take a 
bolder step. No church was large enough to hold the crowds 
that flocked to hear him. A united service was therefore held 
in the courtyard at the back of the mission house. The 
verandah was the pulpit. Kafirs and Hottentots of every 
shade of colour occupied the centre of the yard, many of them 
sitting on mats which they had brought. Around them were 
the European hearers, most of whom had to stand. When 
Mr. Taylor preached, the Dutch interpreter stood on his right 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

. A GREAT REVIVAL 1866 271 

hand, and the Kafir interpreter on the left ; and each in 
succession translated sentence after sentence slowly and im- 
pressively. For more than an hour the * Gospel flowed out 
through the medium of three languages at once, without the 
break of a single blunder or a moment's hesitation.' In the 
prayer-meeting scores of natives knelt on their mats; the 
Europeans, having no such provision, knelt in the dust ; and 
in this and the subsequent services 150 Europeans, and 160 
natives and coloured people were converted and added to the 
various churches of the town. 

At Queenstown there was a similar result. The Rev. H. H. 
Dugmore, who was the resident Wesleyan minister, was 
publicly challenged for abetting proceedings which were alleged 
by hostile critics to be at variance with propriety. He vindi- 
cated the work in a sermon distinguished for clear and cogent 
reasoning. * Some thirty or forty persons,' said he, * came 
forward on the first evening to request the prayers of the 
ministers on their behalf. The numbers increased on succeed- 
ing evenings. Now, among these were persons of every age, 
from ten years to sixty. There were the married as well as the 
unmarried, fathers and mothers of families, persons consti- 
tutionally calm and impassive, as well as those of excitable 
temperament. There were persons who had a strong instinctive 
horror of "making fools of themselves," persons who had 
resisted most strenuously their own penitential impulses ; 
persons who, in the first instance, had swelled the ranks of the 
revilers; persons who knew the penalty of their procedure 
would be the ridicule and scorn of their former associates; 
persons in nearly every social grade that Queenstown affords. 
They came not under the influence of terror, for nothing had 
been said to excite it. They avowed themselves suddenly 
made sensible — vividly and sorrowfully sensible — of the sinful- 
ness of their hearts, and the evil of their ways. I ask, * Could 
the grief of such persons be unreal ?' 

* But so much of the feeling was unnecessary.' The 
feeling was awakened by a consciousness of having violated 
the most sacred of obligations — those of duty to God. Will 
anyone dare to say that such sorrow ought to be less poignant 
than that awakened by any human ills ? Is deep impassioned 
grief allowable when earthly sources of sorrow are opened, and 
yet not to be warranted when the exceeding sinfulness of sin is 

* But its manifestation was violently unnatural.' I stood in 

Digitized by LjOOQ l€ 

272 A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

the midst of forty or fifty persons, who were sorrowing unto re- 
pentance. I did so from evening to evening, and this is my testi- 
mony concerning them. The grief of two-thirds of the number 
was silent grief, or expressed in whispered earnestness. Of 
the rest, about one-half wept audibly ; and a few, chiefly 
youths from the country, were in a state of mental distress, 
still more loudly manifested. Now, was there anything un- 
natural in this ? Various temperaments were variously 
affected. Had all been demonstrative alike, it would have 
supplied a plausible objection. 

* But will all this endure ?' All ? Possibly not. Is the 
work therefore unreal ? As well say that because many of 
the blossoms of spring fall before the fruit sets that there has 
been no vegetable hfe in operation in their case. The result 
of every revival of religion, after every drawback has been 
counted, is the abiding of a large proportion of souls faithful 
to their profession, a strength to the church, and a blessing to 
the world.' 

Charles Pamla came to Queenstown from Annshaw, and 
Mr. Taylor felt that, with his aid, he was in a position to make 
a bold invasion of heathenism. Beginning at Kamastone, he 
visited in rapid succession — too rapid indeed — the mission 
stations at Lesseyton, Wodehouse -Forests, Butterworth, 
Clarkebury, Moriey, Buntingville, Shawbury, Osborn, Em- 
fundisweni, and then proceeded to Natal. It is not necessary 
to describe minutely the details of the services held at each 
station, for they presented, with few variations, tfie same 
features. There was at every place the huge crowd of natives, 
generally assembled in the open air, clothed in every variety 
of dress, from the European tweed suit to the red blanket and 
the skin kaross. There was the mass of swarthy, upturned 
faces, across which, as the preacher proceeded, smiles and 
tears chased each other like sunshine and shadow across a 
mountain slope, followed often by a burst of half-smothered 
emotion. There was the after- service, when hundreds of 
inquirers knelt side by side, and, tearing off their amulets and 
charms of teeth or shells, sought with earnest prayers and 
tears the forgiveness of their sins. I'here was the marvellous 
lighting up of the face when the mercy of Christ was realized, 
the exclamations of ecstasy, the affectionate appeal to others 
to seek salvation. There was the gathering in of the harvest, 
when careful examination was made of each case of con- 
version, the taking down of the names, the grouping into 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 273 

classes for spiritual instruction, and the selection of class 
leaders. These were the general features of the services at 
every station, and at the end of the series it was reported that 
about 6,000 natives had entered upon a new life in Christ. In 
several instances these converts had to suffer persecution from 
their heathen relatives. Some were driven from their homes ; 
some were severely beaten ; others were tied fast to the pole 
of the house and watched, that they might not go out and 
pray to the Great Spirit. But in almost every case persecu- 
tion only produced the effect it did in the days of the Apostles 
— it made the objects of it more determined than ever to serve 
God rather than man. 

Upon a review of these services, it is significant that few of 
the converts were from the raw heathen. Most of them had 
for years been listening to the preaching of the Gospel. The 
heathen, for the most part, shunned the meetings ; or before 
their attention had been drawn to them Mr. Taylor was gone. 
But the natives on the mission stations and those residing at 
the adjacent kraals, and who had become more or less familiar 
with the truths of Christianity, were the people who were led 
to decision by Mr. Taylor's earnest addresses. No stronger 
testimony can be given to the value of patient, continuous 
instruction. Conversion is not the outcome of unintelligent 
emotion. The mind must possess some knowledge of God 
as a Supreme Being, some knowledge of Christ as the Saviour 
of sinners, some knowledge of sin in relation to Divine law, 
some acquaintance with the teaching of Scripture as to the 
possibility and attainment of a renewed life ; or the appeals of 
the preacher are ineffective. As might have been expected, it 
was where the seed of the kingdom had been diligently sown 
that the harvest of conversions was reaped. 

Mr. Taylor, in his enthusiasm, declared that equal success 
would attend the preaching of the Gospel to the raw heathen ; 
and when some doubted, asserted that to believe otherwise 
was to limit the power of the Holy Spirit. To meet his 
wishes, congregations of ignorant heathen natives were sum- 
moned to meet the wonderful teacher, and hear his message. 
They came, but as they sat and listened there was no response. 
Hate shot out of their eyes. Fear sat on their sullen faces, 
whilst dread of some unknown witchery made them shrink 
back and escape at the first opportunity. At the close of such 
a service at Butter worth a chief rose and said : * Sin ! I have 
never committed a sin in my life.' It was manifest that un- 

Digitized by L3C83QIC 

274 ^ GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

less the human mind has some apprehension of the elementary 
truths of Christianity the Gospel falls on deaf ears. 

Another feature of the services was that not one prominent 
chief accepted the Gospel. They were all polygamists, and in 
every case polygamy proved to be an insuperable obstacle. 
* The great thing is our wives,* said one. * If the Gospel 
allowed polygamy, we should all become Christians.* At 
Wodehouse Forests Mantanzima, a Tembu chief, was amongst 
the penitents, and was asked : * How ^many wives have you 
got?' * Two,* was the answer. *Are you willing to retain 
your first wife as your lawful wife, and give the other one 
up?* *Yes,* was said hesitatingly; but soon Mantanzima 
began to put on his gloves, for he was a well-dressed man, and 
saying, * Now I must go home,* he left. He never became a 

At Clarkebury, Ngangelizwe, the paramount chief of the 
Tembus, with his brother Usiquati, both tall, strong men, 
came to hear Mr. Taylor, and were deeply impressed. In the 
after meeting Pamla, whilst standing a few feet from them, 
spoke with amazing power : * Ngangelizwe and Usiquati, you 
know that Kobi and Pato were great chiefs. Kama, their 
brother, was a boy, and had no people. All three had the 
offer of Christ, but only Kama accepted Him. Kobi and Pato 
refused, and called Kama a fool, and said he would be a scabby 
goat, and never have any people. But what was the result ? 
Kobi died a miserable refugee, and got the burial of a dog. 
Pato spent many miserable years as a prisoner on Robben 
Island, and died neglected. Kama remained true to God, and 
now all the Ama-Xosa, once ruled by Kobi and Pato, belong 
to Kama, who is going down to his grave in honourable old 
age, full of a glorious hope of heaven.* Both chiefs almost 
shivered as the truth was thus pressed upon them ; but they 
found an excuse for leaving, and before sunset were on their 
way home. Native chiefs were glad to have missionaries re- 
siding with their subjects, to watch over their interests, and 
speak for them to the Government; but in most cases they 
refused to be Christians. Polygamy was clung to as a sign of 
wealth, witchcraft as a source of power ; and the Gospel was 
rejected. . 

The early missionaries initiated a policy on this question of 
polygamy which has never been departed from. They main- 
tained that the essence of marriage was that two persons shall 
pledge themselves to each other, forsaking all others for the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 275 

term of their natural lives. Consequently, a polygamist could 
not be admitted to membership in a Christian Church. That 
the Lord Jesus might pardon the sins of a polygamist was not 
doubted, but it was held that a Christian native, having a 
knowledge of Christ's words, was not fully obedient to the 
Great Master unless he separated himself from all his wives 
but one. The consciences of the natives generally approved 
of that decision. It was better that chiefs who refused to 
abandon polygamy should be excluded from church member- 
ship than that, by yielding, a deadly blow should be dealt at 
Christian purity. 

The revival was not a temporary excitement. In most of 
the Methodist churches there had been a spirit of expectancy 
and preparation that only required the divinely qualified 
instrument to bring it to a crisis, and lead thousands to 
decision for Christ. Even after Mr. Taylor had left for other 
fields, the conversion of sinners continued for a long period 
with almost equal effectiveness. At Grahamstown the after- 
math took the form of a noonday prayer meeting, at which for 
weeks a hundred persons attended daily. As many as 400 
remained to the Sunday evening prayer meeting, and there 
were many cases of genuine conversion. The circuit had 
been heavily in debt, and there was a proposal to close Fort 
England Chapel ; but on the tide of the fuUer spiritual life the 
debt was swept away, and retreat was no longer contemplated. 
In some circuits for years it was the custom to hold special 
services in commemoration of Mr. Taylor's visit, and as 
memory recalled the marvellous scenes the faith of ministers 
and people was quickened ; they looked for conversions, and 
rarely looked in vain. 

The native churches were purified. At an early date the 
Rev. J. C. Warner pointed out forcibly the evils arising from 
what he called the * station system.' A missionary became 
the headman or ruler of the people that gathered round him. 
He not only taught them religion, but necessarily he had to 
exercise magisterial functions, and punish and fine evil-doers. 
The unavoidable result was that a certain portion of the 
station residents resorted to petty craft and villany to evade 
punishment and deceive the minister. The unsatisfactory 
character of many of the * station people ' was, in Mr. Warner's 
opinion, directly traceable to the false position in which the 
missionary was placed, having to unite in himself ecclesiastical 
and magisterial functions. At the same time the missionary 

Digitized ^^jt^Ogle 

276 A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

could not evade the responsibility of establishing laws and 
enforcing them within the precincts of the station. In the 
Transkei the morality of the native members was deplorably 
low. Beer-drinking and sensuality went on furtively amongst 
members of the church, and were sedulously concealed from 
the missionary. At one sub-station, in a society of about 
thirty members, these vices had become so prevalent that con- 
cealment was no longer possible. At the close of a service 
the Rev. W. B, Rayner upbraided them for their hypocrisy, 
and declared they were unfit to continue in church member- 
ship. Taking out of his pocket the roll of members, he tore it 
up into strips, and throwing the pieces over their heads, ex- 
claimed, * There is no church here !* The revival, however, 
brought into the native churches a purer life. Class leaders 
and local preachers made a determined attempt to uproot the 
evils arising from the frequent use of Kafir beer, and volun- 
tarily pledged themselves to abstain from its use. They even 
asked that total abstinence should be a law to which all 
members of the church should submit. Was not beer-drinking 
responsible for the frequent stumbles and falls of native 
Christians, and their exclusion from the church for flagrant 
sin ? Remonstrance and punishment had proved powerless to 
curb the evil ; abstinence — total abstinence — was the only safe- 
guard. From that day commenced a campaign against beer- 
drinking, which was carried on until the Government, at the 
request of the natives themselves, prohibited the sale of all 
alcoholic liquors within native areas. 

The ministers were endued with increased courage for their 
work. Heathenism had been to them a wall that they thought 
could only be broken down bit by bit. The toil of rebuilding 
churches and manses after the war of 1852, the sullen resist- 
ance of the natives, the opposition of the chiefs, entrenched 
behind the cruelties of witchcraft and the impurities of poly- 
gamy, all weighed heavily on their hearts. They preached 
regularly, they taught the children, they rode from kraal to 
kraal doing their work faithfully, but with little expectation 
of immediate success. The most that they expected was a 
solitary conversion here and there. In one short month the 
scene was changed. The wall of heathenism went down at a 
blow. Thousands of natives were won to Christ, and none 
rejoiced over this more than the ministers. Their labour, 
after all, had not been in vain. They were emboldened to 
commence enterprises which a few months before they would 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

A GREAT REVIVAL. 1866 277 

have pronounced to be impracticable. The Rev. W. B. 
Rayner at Tsomo, and the Rev. E. J, Barrett at Wodehouse 
Forests, secured a waggon and oxen, and, with a few native 
helpers, went on a tour among the heathen in the district. 
Word was sent to the chief of a location : * On a certain day 
the missionary is coming with his people ; get us a hut to 
sleep in, and have a good gathering of your people.* On the 
day appointed the missionary party arrived, and for three or 
four days they preached and prayed and visited the people at 
their huts. The last day was devoted entirely to the new 
converts, pointing out the necessity of abstaining from Kafir 
beer and other heathen customs, and ending with a lovefeast 
and the Lord's Supper. Christianity became bold, and 
aggressive, and triumphant. The Rev. R. Lamplough adopted 
a similar plan at Healdtown. He took some of the native 
candidates for the ministry, and spent the holidays in holding 
special services in the adjacent circuits. They visited Peddie 
and Mount Coke, walking most of the way, and many were 
won to Christ as the crown of their efforts. Perhaps the time 
spent at each place was too short, for heathen prejudices do 
not readily yield to the truth. But the ministers never lost 
the inspiration of those days of revival. 

Not the least result of Mr. Taylor's visit was the perception 
that native ministers must be more largely employed than 
hitherto if South Africa was to be Christianized. Missionaries 
had hesitated to commit the preaching of the Gospel to 
recently- converted heathen. In this they followed on the 
lines laid down by the Moravian missionaries, whose long 
experience in Mission work entitles their opinion to respectfu' 
attention. * When converts from among the heathen are 
established in grace, we would advise not immediately to use 
them as assistants in teaching, but to act herein with caution, 
and reference to the general weakness of their minds and 
consequent aptness to grow conceited.' The early missionaries 
had, in fact, scarcely any choice of action. The native 
converts for many years were necessarily ignorant of letters, 
and had an imperfect knowledge of the Word of God, and 
were not fitted to be ministers. During forty years a great 
change had taken place. Education had become diffused 
among the natives, and what was possible in 1866 had not 
been possible at any previous period. 

As Mr. Taylor listened to the addresses of Charles Pamla, 
Boyce Mama, Joseph Tele, William Shaw Kama, and many 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

278 A GREAT REVIVAL, 1866 

Others, he exclaimed : * These are the men to evangeUze 
Africa.* Missions cannot permanently depend on foreign 
brains, and foreign devotion, and foreign money. The work 
must be done by Pauls and ApoUoses rising from within the 
native churches ; men to whom the language of the natives is 
their mother tongue, and to whom the native superstitions 
and habits and modes of thought are quite familiar. Their 
changed lives are living illustrations of the transforming power 
of the Gospel, and, being already on the ground, they can be 
employed at small cost. No church can be called a success 
which does not furnish preachers and pastors of its own. 

A tentative effort was made to raise a native ministry. 
Several young men of piety and intelligence were placed in 
charge of sub-stations at Peddie, under the direction of the 
English minister. Their attainments were scanty, but suffi- 
ciently in advance of their own people to command respect. 
In 1867 arrangements were made to give them at Healdtown 
a theological training by the formation of a native Theological 
Institute. The [first to be admitted to the Institution were 
Charles Pamla, James Lwana, Charles Lwana, and Boyce 
Mama. After three years* training they were ordained at 
Healdtown in 1871 by the Revs. W. Impey, W. J. Davis, 
J. W. Appleyard, and R. Lamplough, the charge being de- 
livered by Mr. Davis. James Lwana was a man of saintly 
character, and died at Cradock in 1890, where a church 
has been erected to his memory. There are now eighty 
native Wesleyan ministers, who, by their intelligence, piety, 
and fidelity have proved themselves worthy to be admitted 
into the ranks of the ministry. Their employment has been 
followed by a remarkable extension of the Gospel among their 
own countrymen, and at the commencement of the twentieth 
century nearly 100,000 natives are either members of the 
Methodist church, or are on trial for membership, and the 
present century will doubtless see the number greatly in- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905. 

FOR nearly half a century after the establishment of Mis- 
sions in Kafirland there were few day schools for the 
secular education of the natives. 

The missionaries were occupied with more important 
duties. The preaching of the Gospel, the erection of churches 
and manses, the demands of the sick who could not be left to 
the cruel methods of the witch-doctor, the frequent visits to 
the out-stations, and the long journey to the annual Synod— the 
one recreation and rehef of the year — left little time for secular 
instruction. The Sunday schools were utilized to the utmost 
in teaching the art of reading, and beyond this little could be 

There were necessarily no trained native teachers, and until 
Healdtown was established there was no Wesleyan institution 
for training teachers in South Africa. 

The natives were indifferent to the education of their children 
beyond what was received in the Sabbath school, for they were 
useful in various ways in kraal life. They watched over the 
kids and the lambs whilst the flocks were grazing in the veld ; 
they cared for the calves, and drove them out to their feeding 
grounds ; they carried water ; they herded the cattle, and kept 
them out of the mealie lands ; they led the oxen when yoked 
to the plough or waggon ; they assisted to collect wood for the 
fires ; and they protected the ripening grain from predatory 
birds. The parents preferred to employ their children in these 
tasks rather than send them to school. A new generation had 
to grow up before the advantages of education were understood 
and appreciated. 

From about 1875 the natives began to perceive the value of 
secular instruction. They had increased in material wealth ; 
the power of superstition had relaxed its grasp ; and the im- 
portance of reading, writing, arithmetic, and singing took a 
firm hold of the native mind. The Colonial Government saw 
the danger of allowing the native races to continue in igno- 

279 Digitized by LnOOgle 

28o AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 

ranee, and came to the aid of day schools with annual grants. 
Schools were multiplied to such an extent that teachers in 
sufficient numbers could not be provided. Training institutions 
were established at Clarkebury, Shawbury, Peddie, Lesseyton, 
and Buntingville, in addition to Healdtown, Lovedale, the 
well-known Presbyterian institution, was repeatedly enlarged, 
and still the demand for teachers exceeded the supply. As 
early as 1870 the change was recognised. The Rev. J. Longden 
wrote from Butterworth that year : * We greatly rejoice in the 
widespread desire for education in this land. It is a most 
hopeful sign of the times. It has burst forth all at once, and 
takes us by surprise.' 

This enthusiasm for education was, to some extent, mis- 
directed. Industrial training was costly ; it required work- 
shops and skilled tradesmen to teach. Book-learning was 
comparatively cheap. So the acquisition of handicrafts, im- 
portant to a race struggling to escape from barbarism, was 
neglected, and elementary mental education assumed an 
exaggerated value. Native parents were eager for their chil- 
dren to acquire the power to read and write the English lan- 
guage, to work out sums in arithmetic — anything, in fact, that 
would qualify them to be civil servants, teachers, and preachers — 
but they had little desire to see their sons trained as masons, 
or carpenters, or waggon-makers; or their daughters made 
familiar with housework. 

Now the natives have almost a phenomenal facility for 
acquiring knowledge. In a few months they can speak Eng- 
lish, and in a year or two they find no difficulty in passing an 
examination in the lower standards ; but their knowledge is 
superficial, and this ready acquirement is largely due to their 
retentive memory and marvellous gift of imitation. They 
speedily become vain of their attainments, and shun physical 
toil. True education does not consist in cramming the mind 
with processes and facts, but in bringing out what is best in a 
man or woman for practical use in daily life. If the natives 
are to improve their social and material condition they will 
have to learn the necessity and dignity of labour. A race 
destitute of trained artisans will not rise to the higher levels of 
civilization by abstract education only. The ability to read 
Latin, or work a sum in fractions, or write a letter, is a poor 
compensation for the inability to build a decent house, or make 
a chair or a shoe. An unskilled people are not far removed 
from barbarism. 

Unless the old heathen environment can be amended or 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 281 

abolished, secular education will largely fail of its purpose. 
The little learning gained is overborne by the habits and super- 
stitions of generations. The daughter of a Gcaleka chief was 
sent by some philanthropic ladies to England, and was educated 
in a first-class school with English girls. She acquired some 
of the latest results of English training ; but on her return to 
Cape Colony and rejoining her relations, what awaited her ? 
The old barbarous surroundings, the kraal, the smeared hut, 
and the kaross. A few years later she greeted a Wesleyan 
minister in the purest English, but she wore a Kafir blanket, 
had bead bangles on wrists and ankles, and was the wife of a 
polygamist. Until natives can create improved social condi- 
tions by their own labour, school education will fail largely of 
its purpose. 

Trade schools, costly as they may be, are absolutely neces- 
sary to the elevation of the native races. They create the 
need they are intended to supply. When natives see their 
sons making strong and good seats, they are less willing to squat 
on the ground. When they see windows and doors made by 
their own children, they perceive how dark and ill-ventilated 
their huts are. When their children come home from school 
decently clad, they discover how mean their heathen garments 
are. When they see a European house, the desire arises to 
possess comfortable cottages of their own. The trade school 
is an important factor in the regeneration of the habits of the 

Book learning alone tends to the formation of exaggerated 
ideas of progress. Many natives cherish the belief that it is 
possible for them to climb in one generation up to the level 
which Europeans have taken many generations to reach, and 
reached only by a willingness to toil. They claim political 
and racial equality, for which, a few individuals excepted, they 
are not yet prepared. Out of this immoderate estimate of 
themselves has arisen the Ethiopian movement, which is largely 
a revolt against the English missionary, to whom they owe 
their rescue from savage heathenism. 

The Ethiopian church originated in 1892 in the Transvaal 
with M, Makoni, a native minister, who aimed to form a reli- 
gious community composed of, managed, and maintained by 
natives only. Two years later James Dwane, another native 
minister, left the Methodist Church, and for similar reasons 
joined the movement. In 1896 Dwane went to America, and 
sought affiliation with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 
He was received with open arms, and appoint^d^^(^l^^^m)er- 

282 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 

intendent in South Africa. Upon his return, he endeavoured 
to bring the Ethiopian members into the fold of the American 
negro denomination. The following year a negro bishop, 
H. M. Turner, visited South Africa, and with great ostentation 
travelled over the country, and boasted that in six weeks he 
had ordained sixty ministers and deacons, and welcomed into 
fellowship numerous congregations, all seceders from existing 
churches which had laboured long in the country. It is not 
easy to understand why the negro Methodists of the Southern 
States of America should enter into open rivalry with the 
Wesleyan Methodists of South Africa, who could not be ex- 
pected to approve of their hasty and unfriendly action. 

Scarcely had a year elapsed when Dwane, who evidently did 
not find his personal ambitions realized in the American fold, 
interviewed the Archbishop of Cape Town with a view to the 
reception of himself and his followers into the Anglican Church. 
In August, 1900, Dwane, with a number of natives, was for- 
mally accepted by the Archbishop, and he was appointed 
* Provincial of the Order of Ethiopia. * The Ethiopians were 
now divided. One section followed Dwane ; the other section 
remained true to the original movement, and denounced Dwane 
as a traitor. The Ethiopians became increasingly active. 
Secessions took place from the Free Church of Scotland at 
Lovedale and in Natal, from the Congregationalists at Cape 
Town and Johannesburg, and many Methodist Missions were 
seriously disturbed. The object was racial independence in 
religious affairs ; but underlying it, and giving great impetus to 
the movement, was a strong political antagonism to Euro- 

The Rev, J. P. Ritchie, secretary of the Congregational 
Union, thus trenchantly writes : * The Ethiopian movement is 
not born of any vital principle of spiritual power. To have 
seen the spirit of native devotion revolting from the bondage 
of European formalities, and breaking forth into fresh manifes- 
tations of its own distinctive life — that would have been a 
most interesting spectacle. But there is not a vestige of 
spiritual originality in the movement. The Ethiopian takes 
black missionary from America instead of white missionary 
from England. He turns English Methodism out of the door 
to bring negro Methodism down the chimney. He bites the 
white hand that has ministered for so many years to his spiri- 
tual destitution and kisses the black hand of the negro bishop. 
His Ethiopian pastors have not manifested, as far as we can 
see, the least interest in the assault of the red heathenism that 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1906 283 

throngs and presses them on every side, but confine their 
aggressive energies to the creation of discord and division in 
the existing native churches, with the view of gaining ground 
by means of spHts from them/ It is difficult to conceive what 
benefit can accrue to the natives from these divisions. The 
distance between the native and European population will be 
widened, and the natives, out of touch with European thought 
and life, will be arrested in their progress towards a Christian 
form of civilization. 

* Besides being the promoter of schism,' says the Rev. F. B. 
Bridgeman, * Ethiopianism must answer the charge that its 
influence is on the side of low morals. Not many native 
churches have the moral power, unaided from without, to 
enforce high standards of discipline. The leaders of secession 
have naturally been eager to secure as many adherents as 
possible. Strict discipline would alienate many coveted sup- 
porters, and would entail such financial loss as to threaten 
ruin. The result has been a compromise with heathenism.' 

The desire of the natives to possess self-government has 
always been sympathetically considered by the Methodist 
Church. Native ministers are placed in charge of native 
circuits. Native ministers and laymen have their own annual 
Synods, and they form an essential part of the Annual Confer- 
ence. To the European missionaries the natives owe their 
Christianity, their civiHzation, and much of their education ; 
and any agitation which disturbs the harmonious co-operation 
of the two races must inevitably be disastrous to the natives 
themselves. As the natives prove their fitness for the higher 
administration of authority and finance, and can be entrusted 
with the care of all the native churches, Methodism will gladly 
welcome them to a wider responsibility. 

The survey of the progress of the various educational institu- 
tions and mission stations during the last thirty years must 
necessarily be brief. 

Healdtown, near Fort Beaufort, is the parent Wesleyan 
Normal Institution in South Africa, and is now devoted to the 
training of native teachers of both sexes. There are more than 
200 students in residence, with a training-school attached, in 
which about 400 day scholars are educated. Only by slow 
stages has this position been attained, -and from the first the 
operations have had to be carried on in an atmosphere of 
financial difficulty. ^»'' ^v L^OOgle 

284 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 

When it was proposed, in 1866, to utilize the extensive 
buildings erected by Sir George Grey for the training of native 
teachers and candidates for the ministry, the want of funds 
blocked the way. The missionary committee in London could 
render no help, and in this emergency Mr. Heald, of Man- 
chester, after whom the station was named, and his sister, 
came to the rescue with a gift of ;^i,ooo, and in 1867 the 
training institution was established, with the Rev. W. Impey 
as principal, and the Rev. R. Lamplough as vice- principal. 
Mr. G. Baker, from Westminster College, was appointed 
headmaster. Fifteen pupil teachers were admitted, and four 
candidates for the ministry. 

In 1875 the buildings were enlarged to accommodate forty- 
five students ; but such was the multiplication of day schools, 
and the increasing demand for teachers, that this supply was 
wholly inadequate. Under the management of successive 
governors — the Revs. G. Chapman, W. Holford, T. Chubb, B. A., 
R. Hornabrook, and W. Hurt — the advancement was rapid. 
The Rev. R. Hornabrook, during his first term of office (1890 
to 1898), endeavoured to relieve the financial pressure of the 
diminishing grant by enlarging the buildings so as to accom- 
modate three times the number of boarders. At this juncture 
an anonymous gift of ^"400 was sent, with only one condition 
attached to it — that no inquiry should be made as to the name 
of the donor. This generous aid came at an opportune moment, 
and led to an expenditure of ^"2,000 in enlarging the boys' 
department. Subsequently, a very handsome building, costing 
;^2,5oo, was erected for the accommodation of the female pupil 
teachers, who hitherto had been obliged to lodge in the village 
with their friends. This expansion, in both sections of the 
work, was devoutly accepted as from *the good hand of God.' 

Dr. Muir, the Superintendent- General of Education, says : 
* The work done at Healdtown in all three classes of pupil 
teachers calls for special praise.' But the inspectors complain 
that the practising school is overcrowded, and the staff of 
teachers needs reinforcing. The practising school is the old 
church erected by Mr. AylifF, and it is in so dilapidated a con- 
dition that it is useless to attempt to repair it. Neither floor 
nor roof is safe. Yet in this schoolroom 300 children have 
each day to be taught. How to obtain the requisite funds for 
a new training scliool and additional dormitories is the problem 
Mr. Hornabrook, who again became governor in 1903, is trying 
to solve. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Healdtown has been largely indebted to Westminster 
College for its teachers. Messrs. Lightfoot, Webster, Chap- 
man, Spensley, Caley, Elderkin, Lewis, Weale, Kissack, 
Kerruish, and Towers, were all trained at Westminster. 
Southlands sent the first lady principal for the girls' depart- 
ment, Miss Inge. The influence of Healdtown has been far- 
reaching, and ministers, teachers, interpreters, headmen, law- 
agents, farmers, and journalists, have 
here received their education. 

For the brief period the theological 
class was conducted at Healdtown it 
was under the care of the Revs. R. 
Lamplough, T. Chubb, G. Chapman, 
and W. Hunter; In the training of 
the native candidates for the ministry 
little attempt was made at imparting 
a knowledge of the classic languages. 
The English language alone opened 
up to them mines of mental wealth. 
Theology, Biblical and general informa- 
tion, homiletics, grammar, and Wesley's 
sermons, made a fairly comprehensive 
curriculum for natives. In 1880 the 
class was removed to Lesseyton, where 

where it has since remained, and room was secured at Heald- 
town for more pupil teachers. 

Lesseyton presents several forms of Mission work. In 
addition to the usual features of an ordinary native circuit is 
the Institution for Native Ministers, which generally contains 
about ten students, and also a school for native girls. The 
village itself is situated in a beautiful triangular-shaped valley 
at the base of the broad Hangklip Mountain. Close to the 
village is the mission glebe and the common lands, which are 
well wooded and watered. 

The Industrial School for native girls was established by the 
Rev. G. Chapman, and was continued uninterruptedly until 
1899, when it was closed temporarily in consequence of the 
death of the Rev. E. Gedye, the principal. The following 
year it was reopened by the Rev. W. Hurt, with seventeen 
boarders. There are now nearly sixty boarders, and additional 
buildings have been erected to accommodate 100 girls, who 
are instructed in household work, and nothing is omitted 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 



that is needful to make them good daughters, wives, and 

A few years ago. Dr. Muir adopted the policy of strengthening 
the chief institutions for the training of native teachers, and 
placed severe restrictions on the smaller schools which had 
been doing fair work in the same direction. He forbade the 
training of native teachers, except at certain centres, as Heald- 
town, Bensonvale, etc. The result is that the Lesseyton 
Girls' School, the Ayliff Institution at Peddie, and the Lam- 
plough Institution at Butterworth, have been deprived of an 
important source of income. The object is to concentrate 


teaching-power, but this new policy will necessitate a com- 
plete rearrangement of the work of the smaller schools if they 
are to be placed on a sound financial basis. 

Peddie. — The Rev. J. Longden was appointed to Peddie in 
1879, and, finding that a serious obstacle to efficiency in the 
sixteen day schools he had to superintend was the lack of 
suitable teachers, he made arrangements for the training of 
a few native girls as pupil teachers, and Dr. Dale, the Super- 
intendent-General of Education at the time, willingly assisted 
with grants-in-aid. Mr. Longden commenced with ten girls, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 287 

who lodged with friends in the village. Upon Mr. Longden*s 
departure in 1882, the Rev. E. Gedye took up the plans of his 
predecessor, and the following year he established what is now 
called * The AylifF Industrial Institution for Girls.* His chief 
aim was to impart a plain school education up to Standard V., 
and combine with it a thorough acquaintance with household 
work in order to lift them out of the mean surroundings of the 
Kafir hut, and fit them to manage cottage homes of their own. 
The pupil teachers' class was retained for girls who showed 
a special aptitude for teaching. They were prepared to attain 
the teachers' certificate, and were afterwards employed in the 
various native schools. The work of erecting a boarding- 
house and schoolroom, and providing the necessary equipment, 
taxed Mr. Gedye's energies to the utmost. He wrote, he 
pleaded, he begged; year after year in the Synod he urged 
the claims of his institution ; no rebuff from unsympathetic 
critics quenched his enthusiasm, and at last, to his great 
dehght, buildings were completed and furnished to accommo- 
date thirty boarders and seventy day scholars, with their 

In recent years the AylifF Institution has suffered, as we 
have said, from the changed policy of Dr. Muir. He closed 
the pupil teachers' class, and compelled the girls to attend 
Healdtown, or some other large educational centre. The 
number of boarders decreased, and financial embarrassment 
ensued. The Rev. E. O. Barratt, M.A. wrote: *The school 
is needed, and if it is possible to conduct it on different lines, 
it should more than regain its former prosperity. There is 
hardly a more valuable auxiliary to the preaching of the 
Gospel than the application of Christian ideas to daily life, 
which residence in a missionary institution presents to the 
girls who come here for training.' 

The Peddie circuit is divided into four sections : Durban, 
the native village named after Sir Benjamin D' Urban ; Tuku, 
fifteen miles from Peddie, with the mouth of the river Keis- 
kama in its limits ; Newtondale, about the same distance to 
the south-west, along the Fish River to its outlet to the sea ; 
and Horton, extending to the postcart road from Grahams- 
town to King William's Town. Each section is in charge of a 
native minister, and the whole is under the superintendence of 
the English minister residing at the Ayliff Institution. Within 
the area of the circuit are twenty three native day schools with 
thirty five teachers, and the English minister has to engage 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

288 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

the teachers, see that the school buildings are in good repair, 
keep financial accounts, and purchase and retail all the school 
requisites from a reader to a pencil. The twenty three sewing 
schools in connection with these day schools are conducted by 
the missionary's wife. In these four sections are eighteen 
churches and sixty other preaching places, and 2,000 natives 
are members of society. But there remain 12,000 red heathens ; 
and when crops are good there is not a little Kafir beer made, 
and much drunkenness, so that there is extensive work yet to 
be done. 

In 1893 ^* was resolved to replace the old native church at 
Durban by a larger one , to cost ;^7oo — a large sum for a poor 
community. The first donor was Joseph Mpahla, who came 
out of Hintza*s country in 1834, ^^^ who had stood by the 
missionaries in their toils and privations for nearly sixty years. 
As an evangelist he never received more than ^"20 a year, and 
now in his old age was receiving a pension of £5 a year. Out 
of his poverty he gave cheerfully. * The church looks well on 
paper,* he said, * but I shall not be satisfied until I see it com- 
pleted. I offer twenty sheep, and when all have done what 
they can, if more be wanted, by God's help, I will give more.' 
The other natives at the meeting contributed ;^300, the gifts of 
small agriculturists and farmers. The church, when completed, 
was called * The Aylifif and Fingo Memorial Church,' in honour 
of the pastor who led them out of Gcaleka bondage. 

In the EngHsh village of Peddie, a mile distant from Durban, 
are a few stores and shops, a post and telegraph office, and 
for the small population, as well as for the English farmers 
scattered throughout the neighbourhood, there is a neat little 
Wesleyan church and a resident English minister. 

Butterworth. — Notwithstanding the humorous assurance of 
safety given by Sir George Grey, Butterworth narrowly escaped 
being burnt down a fourth time during the war of 1877 between 
the Gcalekas and the Fingos. The ostensible origin of the 
strife was a marriage beer orgy, held a few miles from Butter- 
worth, but the real cause was the anger of the Ama-Xosa, 
suppressed for years, at seeing the Fingos in possession of the 
country which had formerly been their own. Their former 
slaves were richer than they. Mr. James Ayliff, chief magis- 
trate of the Fingos, and Colonel Eustace, magistrate of the 
Gcalekas, had, by their firmness and tact, hitherto checked 
any open violence, but the Gcalekas now in their fury spurned 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




all control They raided Fingo territory, burnt villages, drove 

off cattle, and slew those who resisted. Sir Bartle Frere, the 

Governor, hastened to Butterworth, and sent a messenger to 

Kreli requesting an interview ; but 

Kreli refused to attend. Sir Bartle 

Frere moved up the Colonial forces, 

and on September 28, 6,000 Gcalekas 

made a determined attack at Gwadana 

on a small detachment of police and 

500 Fingos, who had to retreat with 

the loss of several men. 

The fight at Gwadana was visible 

from Butterworth. The Rev. E. J. 

Warner, who was the resident minister, 

said : * It was a very anxious time, for 

we knew that if our forces gave way 

the Gcaleka army would be down on 

us, and sweep through all Fingoland.* 

Mr. Warner proposed to send his wife 

and children into the colony for safety, 

but the Fingos objected. * If you send Mrs. Warner and the 

children away, it will cause a panic on the station. There will 

be a stampede, and Fingoland will go.* The heroism of Mrs. 
Warner saved the situation. She re- 
mained, at what cost of nerve few can 
imagine, for each night the sky was 
red with the glare of burning huts. 
Mr. and Mrs Warner came out of the 
peril, but with enfeebled health. 

Two days after the fight at Gwa- 
dana the Gcaleka army, 7,000 strong, 
attacked the camp at Ibeka, where 
200 mounted police, and 2,000 Fingos, 
led by Veldman, boldly resisted and 
drove them back. Veldman was a fine 
Christian Fingo chief, a class leader, 
and a local preacher. A few days later 
the Gcalekas were again defeated at 
the Springs, and their power was 
broken. Sandile was killed in the 
Pirie Bush byj a stray shot, and Kreli fled to Bomoanaland: 
The war came to an end, and Butterworth was safe. 

During the twelve years* pastorate of the Rev. W. J. Hacker, 

Digitized by Vj@OQl€ 




which commenced in 1883, the Mission made remarkable pro- 
gress. Parts of Gcalekaland had been denuded of those who 
had taken part in the recent war, and given out to Fingos, who 
were sandwiched in between the Gcalekas, who were allowed 
to remain. Mr. Hacker visited the new Fingo locations, held 
services, and established schools. Out of this section was 
formed the Fort Malan Circuit. At a later date the Gcaleka 

" ■ -^ ^"- 

. ^ . 









^^IH^VS^K »■ 


f^^^P^^^^^>^^^^ ' 'V 



^^H^^^^H ^ _J 





chiefs made a decided move towards Christianity, and the 
Idutywa Circuit was made. 

Mr. Hacker, convinced that industrial training was essential 
to the development of native character, established a * Boys' 
Industrial School.* He commenced in a humble way in a 
trader's store, near the mission house. The institution was 
popular, and boys came from Pondoland, and even Basutoland, 
to learn carpentry and building. The school directly affected 
the habits of the natives, who began to erect roomy and sub- 
stantial cottages, partly for their own comfort, and partly 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



because the costlier dwelling gave the occupier a vote I There 
are now thirty apprentices in the school. 

In the year 1890 Mr. Hacker made a further attempt to 
promote industrial education by establishing the * Lamplough 
Training Institution for Girls.' The education of one sex only 
would end in comparative failure. The girls are carefully 
trained in domestic work — cooking, baking, sewing, ironing, 
and tailoring— in addition to the usual school instruction. The 
aim is to prepare the girls to make good housewives and 
mothers, and to lift them and their famihes to a higher plane 
of living. 

In 1884 a neat little church was erected at Butterworth for 
the European residents; and ten years later, in 1894, ^ large 
native church was built to the memory 
of the Rev. John AylifF, and was called 
the ' AylifF Memorial Church.' It 
seats 750 persons, and has been known 
on occasions to hold 1,000 persons. It 
cost ;^2,ooo, of which ;^i,o5o were 
contributed at the opening ceremony 
in money, cattle, sheep, goats, and 
corn. The meeting was an extra- 
ordinary one, and lasted eight hours. 

Since the Rev. T. R. Curnick was 
appointed to Butterworth in 1894, 
twenty churches have been built in 
Fingoland alone, and eleven in the 
Gcaleka mission. Most of these have 
been erected by the boys in the trade 
class at Butterworth. 

The Gcalekas, dwelling between the Qora and Shixeni 
Rivers, in their haughty reserve, were averse to having evan- 
gelists among them, and when they were at last received it 
was on condition they did not teach the children. But before 
long both chiefs and people realized the value of education. 
Sigcau, the son of Kreli, who lived on the other side of the 
Bashee River, sent word that they were to form schools and 
obtain teachers, and fourteen schools were established amongst 
them, the cost of each of which was paid at the opening. 

The Gcalekas, broken and impoverished remnants of a once 
royal tribe, awoke at last to the value of the Christian religion, 
and in 1904 they sent a pathetic request to the Wesleyan Con- 
ference for the settlement of a minister amongst them, w{^ 

19 — 2 ^ 


292 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

could be their * father.' The request was acceded to, and the 
minister took up his residence in the picturesque village of 
Willowvale, where a church and schoolroom were soon erected. 
The Gcalekas, who for seventy years have stubbornly resisted 
the Gospel, are bowing to its influence, and 250 of them are 
now members of our church. 

The area, which in Mr. Longden's pastorate constituted 
Butterworth, is now five circuits, and contains 62 Wesleyan 
churches, 3 European and 3 native ministers, 16 evangelists, 
233 local preachers, 90 day school teachers, and more than 
8,000 natives meeting in various classes. Notwithstanding 
this expansion, it is computed that 70 per cent, of the popula- 
tion is still heathen. The superstitions and practices of ages 
are no teasily uprooted ; and if a native seems to be serious 
about spiritual things, he or she is often hurried off to the 
witch doctor as if mysteriously bewitched, or enticed to a beer 
feast, that convictions may be dissipated. But the Gospel is 
in the ascendant, and every year it is more widely accepted 
and obeyed 

Glarkebury. — The Gcaleka war spirit of 1877 extended to the 
Tembus, some of whom took up arms. Through the influence 
of the Rev. P. Hargreaves, Ngangelizwe, the paramount chief, 
remained quiet ; but Daliseli, a sub-chief, joined in the fray, 
and sent word that he was coming to Glarkebury to bum it 
down lest it should be used as a military centre by the English 
troops. Again he sent a message that all the white persons 
who had taken refuge at the mission station were to be driven 
away. Mr. Hargreaves calmly refused to comply, and kept 
the refugees until they could be safely sent into the colony. 
A few days later several thousand Tembus entered Butter- 
worth, intending to plunder the trading store of Mr. Hedding, 
and the houses on the station. Mr. Hargreaves met them, 
and boldly appealed to them not to disgrace themselves by 
plundering and robbery. His exhortations were not without 
effect, and by-and-by they left, and property valued at ;^io,ooo 
was saved. 

As early as 1875 Mr. Hargreaves made Glarkebury an im- 
portant educational centre. Believing that Christian instruc- 
tion and manual training were alike necessary to the permanent 
uplifting of the native races, he commenced an * Industrial 
School for Boys,* in which native boys should be taught 
various handicrafts, as shoemaking, masonry, agriculture. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 



The Tembus themselves, convinced of the value of such a 
training, gave ;^i,ooo towards the cost of the buildings, and 
Mr. G. Baker, of Healdtown, was placed in charge of the edu- 
cational work. 

When Mr. Hargreaves left, in 188 1, for a well-earned holiday 
in England, he was succeeded by the Rev. T. Chubb, B.A., 
with the Rev. H. W. Davis, B.A., as headmaster, and the 
institution expanded in a remarkable manner. A carpenter's 
shop was added. Then a dining-hall, capable of seating 300 


boys. In 1897 ^^ extensive block of school buildings, with a 
frontage of 122 feet, and of two stories, was commenced, but 
when the foundations were laid the sudden death of the Rev. 
T. A. Chalker checked the progress of the work. Three years 
later they were completed, amid general rejoicing. There are 
now about 200 boarders and nearly as many day scholars. 

The Rev. A. J. Lennard, the present governor, is planning 
for larger buildings, a lavatory, additional teachers* residences, 
and dormitories. The deficiency of water has been remedied 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



by bore-holes, from which an excellent supply is obtained ; 
and as occasionally there has been an outbreak of scurvy, 
Mr. Lennard is sanguine enough to anticipate the time when 
a herd of thirty or forty cows will be a necessary adjunct 
to the institution. 

In January, 1904, the foundation stone of a large native 
church was laid by Mr. Hargreaves, who alluded to his twenty 
four years' pastorate at Clarkebury. * When I came here,* he 
said, 'on Easter Monday, 1858, all the country from here to 
King William's Town, and Old Buntingville, and up to Shaw- 


bury, was empty ; and now look at the tens of thousands of 
people, and churches, and schools everywhere ! I never saw a 
white face. There was no post-office, and we had to send two 
men every month to King to fetch our letters ; and when they 
came we read and re-read them, and put them under our 
pillows at night, just as young girls do with their love-letters.' 
With this increase of population Clarkebury has become 
the mother of churches. From her have sprung the English 
circuits of Clarkebury, and Umtata, and Engcobo; and the 
native circuits of Emqekezweni, Cwecweni, Engcobo, Ncambele, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-19055 


and Wesleyville. Thousands of Tembus are members of the 
Wesleyan church, and besides supporting their own ministers, 
churches, and schools, they contributed last year nearly /300 
towards sending the Gospel to their heathen brethren. * The 
little one * of the time of Vossani, the * wolf's cloak,' and Mr. 
Haddy * has become a thousand.* 

Shawbury. — The wave of native unrest from the Transkei 
swept as far as Zululand, and in its passage through the 
district of Shawbury culminated in an unexpected tragedy. 
Umhlonhlo, the Pondomisi chief, was summoned by Mr. Hope, 
the resident magistrate at Qumbu, to assist in repressing the 
Basuto rebellion. Mr. Hope imprudently used threats, and 
the Pondomisi, already discontented, 
only needed this provocation to openly 
defy the Governmentx The warriors 
of the clan assembled, ostensibly to 
march on Basutoland, but really to 
slay the Government officials, and to 
reg^ain their independence. 

The chief and his clansmen met Mr. 
Hope and his assistants, Mr. Davis, 
a son of the Rev. W. J. Davis^ Mr. 
Human^ and Mr Warren at the place 
appointed" but the magistrate observed 
that the impi surrounded them in an 
ominous manner. Knowing that cool- 
Dess of demeanour was essential, he 
sat down on a rock, and, lighting his 
pipe, said to his companions : ' If we 

are all to be murdered, we may as well smoke.* In the mean- 
time, the warriors formed a circle round them, and commenced 
dancing a war- dance, and singing a war -song. The circle 
gradually contracted. Umhlonhlo approached Da\4s, saying: 
*"Sunduna, I wish to speak to you privately.* Mr. Davis was 
interpreter to the court, and conversations between him and 
Umhlonhlo %vere not infrequent. The chief took Davis out- 
side the ring, and told him : * You are the son and brother of 
missionaries I have known and respected, and I have stipulated 
that whatever happens to-day nobody is to touch you.* Before 
Davis could realize the situation the fierce yells of the Pondo- 
misi caused him to look round, when he saw the bodies of his 
late companions being rolled along the ground with the points 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




of the assagais of their murderers. He immediately seized his 
revolver case, and was extracting the weapon, when the chief 
exclaimed : * What are you going to do ?' Davis replied : * To 
shoot.' Umhlonhlo quickly pinioned him by the elbows, and 
cried out : * Hand that revolver to me, or you are a dead man !* 


Being thus disarmed, Davis could do nothing but await the 
issue. The tribal executioner, who had held the office for 
years, and gloried in the shedding of blood, came with his 
assagai, intending to murder Davis also ; but Umhlonhlo 
snatched a rifle from a bystander^ and threatened to shoot 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



him ii he did not desist. The chief prevailed, took charge 
of Davis, sending him, with all the other European residents, 
into Shawbury, to the care of his brother, the Rev. W. S. 

This tragic event, followed by the flight of Umhlonhlo into 


Basutoland, seriously injured mission work in Shawbury. The 
Rev. W. S. Davis had recently founded a * Training Institution 
for Girls,* and had been assisted by the Ladies' Auxiliary in 
England. But the Pondomisi, in their rage with the Govern- 
ment, stood aloof from Christianity, and the institution suffered. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

298 AN ERA OF EDUCATION^ 1875-1905 

Parents refused to send their daughters to be trained. The 
Revs. J. R. Cameron and C. S. Lucas successively tried to 
sustain the work, but there were times when the institution 
had to be closed, once for nine months. With the appointment 
of the Rev. S. Clark, in 1893, *^® ^^^^ seemed to turn; native 
prejudices had weakened, and in October of that year the 
institution was reopened. One difficulty after another was 
overcome, and at last success was won. There are now 
^35 gi^^ls boarding in the instftution, and there are 130 day 
scholars, and of the boarders 40 are pupil teachers. Sewing, 
tailoring, knitting, quiU-making, cooking, and housework are 
taught ; and the cry of the present governor, the Rev. H. W. 
Davis, B.A., is for more room, more dormitories, more class- 
rooms, and a dining-hall. 

Shawbury Circuit extends over the whole of the Qumbu, and 
half of the Tsolo districts, an area of probably 3,000 square 
miles. Close to the mission station is the famous Tsitsa 
Waterfall, the highest in Cape Colony, where the river falls 
over an almost vertical precipice of 375 feet. The upper 
portion of the circuit is mountainous and picturesque, and 
here are the two sections, Culunca and Enyanisweni. The 
lower portion of the circuit is divided into four sections — Kwa 
Valelo, Lotana, Qumbu, and Cingco. There are sixty four 
places where ser\ices are held, and around these evangelistic 
work is actively carried on by 130 native local preachers. 
Kraals are visited, prayer meetings are held, and so the Gospel 
is carried to a large number who never come to the regular 

Osbom.— After the death of Ncapai, the Baca chief, in a 
fight with the Pondos, Makaula, one of his sons, and part of 
the tribe, left the neighbourhood of Shawbury and settled at 
Tshungwane, about thirty miles farther north. Mr. HuUey, 
the lay evangelist at Shawbury, followed with a number of 
Christian natives from Clarkebury, and commenced a Wesleyan 
mission among the emigrants. 

Tshungwane, now better known as Osborn, is indissolubly 
associated with the name of the Rev. C. White, who gave to 
the Bacas seventeen of the ripest years of his life (i 864-1 881). 
He was a minister of rare simplicity and purity of character. 
He completed the first brick church at Osborn, and did all the 
carpenter's work himself. The opening of the church was 
followed by a remarkable revival, in which a number of Baca 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



young men were converted, who afterwards largely assisted 
Mr. White in preaching the Gospel to their own people. 

In those days raids and counter raids were frequent, and the 
Bacas and Pondos made reprisals on each other. At one time 
a Pondo army swept over the district without any previous 
warning, and in the gray dawn of morning attacked Osborn. 
The Bacas on the station offered a stout defence, and drove 
the assailants off with the loss of ten men. The Pondos 
advanced on Makaula's great kraal or village, when suddenly 
a white calf ran across the front of the marching warriors. 
The Pondo witch doctor cried out : * It is the ghost of Ncapai, 
whom we slew in battle.' Immediately a panic set in, and the 
Pondos took to flight, pursued by the Bacas. The line of 
retreat was through Osborn, and the 
people, incensed by the morning 
attack, cut the fugitives down by 
hundreds. A small party of Bacas 
ran ahead, and held the fords across 
the Kenegha and Umzimvubu Rivers, 
forcing the Pondos to cross in deep 
water, and many were drowned. At 
sunset the pursuit ceased. Thirty 
prisoners, most of them wounded, were 
brought to the mission house, and Mr. 
White dressed their wounds, gave them 
food, and sent them home next day 
under an escort of three men. But 
for his presence they would probably 
have been all killed. The effect of 
this war upon the work of the church 

was disastrous, and two years passed before it regained its 
former vigour. 

In 1883 Mr. White removed to Tsomo, and afterwards to 
Butterworth ; but upon his retirement from the active work of 
the ministry, he settled at Mount Frere, close to Osborn, that 
he might be near the people he loved. During a visit to Umtata 
he was suddenly seized with illness, and, saying to his wife, 
* Let me go — good-bye — Jesus is coming,' his spirit winged its 
flight to God. 

The Revs. T. W. Pocock (1882-1890), R. Matterson (1890- 
1894), ^* P- Underwood (1895-1900), and William Mears had 
successively the charge of Osborn. During Mr. Pocock's 
pastorate the present spacious church, seating 600 persons. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


300 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

was erected. Three circuits have been formed from Osbom — 
Rode, Mount White (really in a valley), and Dumsi. Every 
year sees conversions from heathenism, and though other 
churches have entered the field, Methodism is the choice of 
the great majority of the Bacas. The names of Wesleyan 
missionaries are * household words,* even with heathen natives. 
The Bacas regard abstinence from jiki, or kafir beer, as one 
of the signs of Christian character, and look down with an 
incredulous stare upon any church which permits its use. 
With a fine contempt they say : * What is the difference 
between them and the heathen ? They drink kafir beer like 
the rest.* In the Osbom and Dumsi circuits more than 
2,400 natives are members of our church. 

The Rev. R. P. Underwood, during his residence at Osbom, 
established a trade school, and the apprentices travel as far as 
Emfundisweni, putting up buildings and repairing furniture. 
Though this is the type of training most deserving of help, 
Government refuses to make any grant-in-aid, and the 
development of the school is arrested. 

Buntingville, in West Pondoland. Though the Pondos were 
the most degraded race on the coast, they could not remain 
untouched by the prevailing desire for education. Damas was 
dead, and Nquiliso was now chief, and when the Rev. J. S. 
Morris was appointed to Buntingville in 1875, the result of 
many conversations between him and the chief was a resolve 
that a training school should be established. Nquiliso sent 
orders throughout the tribe that cattle should be given to pay 
for the buildings, and so large was the number sent that their 
sale realized ;^3,5oo. Soon there arose at Buntingville a mas- 
sive stone structure, containing school hall, class rooms, dor- 
mitories for eighty boys, governor's residence, and workshops. 
The total cost was ;^6,ooo. This expenditure would not have 
been incurred, but the Colonial Government promised that 
when the buildings were completed the institution would be 
placed on the same basis as similar institutions in the colony, 
and Dr. Langham Dale stated that the annual grant would be 
;^890. The training school was opened, a teacher of carpentry 
was engaged, several native youths were received as appren- 
tices, when an unexpected reverse ruined the whole scheme. 
The Dutch were in the ascendant in the Cape Parliament, and 
they were opposed to the education of the natives. Serfdom 
was their appointed lot. They opposed the action of the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 301 

Ministry and cut down the annual grant to ;^9o. Mr. Morris 
was placed in a painful position. He was pledged to the tribe 
to do what, for want of funds, it was impossible to do. He 
made desperate attempts to carry on the institution without 
Government aid, but finally had to close it. The massive 
buildings stood for years empty and useless. Mr. Morris* 
health completely broke down, and he left Buntingville in 
1887, after twelve years* labour, very much like a dying 
man. His life was, however, spared, and after a year's rest 
he rendered valuable service in the native compounds at 

The closing of the Buntingville Institution was to Nquiliso a 
bitter disappointment. The sight of the silent, deserted build- 
ings, whilst hundreds of native youths were eager for instruc- 
tion, weighed upon his mind. During 
his last illness he often referred to the 
failure, and with almost his last breath 
he urged that the institution should be 
reopened as soon as possible, and so 
spread among the Pondos the advan- 
tages of industrial training. 

The cloud had its silver lining. Un- 
encumbered with the cares of a large 
institution, the minister in charge was 
able to devote uninterrupted attention 
to the spiritual side of the mission. 

Native evangelists were employed visit- 

ing kraals, holding services, and during ^^^ ^ ^ househam. 
the pastorate of the Rev. J. W. House- 
ham a revival of religion occurred in 

Western Pondoland, in which hundreds of Pondos were drawn 
to Christ, and the membership of the society at Buntingville rose 
from 46 to nearly 300 

It must not be supposed that more than the fringe of Pondo- 
land was touched. Five evangelists could not make much im- 
pression on 50,000 Pondos, who practised witchcraft in its 
vilest forms. Many chiefs and their followers resented the 
settlement of evangelists amongst them. * They were quite 
willing,' they said, * that the missionary should come whenever 
he pleased, but they would not have the evangelist living 
amongst them. They drank beer, and were accustomed to 
fight ; the evangelist drank coffee, and they would probably 
fight him. Why could he not come occasionally ? It was the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

302 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

old cry of Satan's victims : " Let us alone ; art thou come to 
destroy us ?** ' The evangelist went, and his life was threatened. 
The native woman at whose hut he dwelt was warned she 
would be * smelt out.' But the chief's own mother came to 
the rescue, and through her influence the chief built for the 
evangelist a house, and gave him a garden, and asked him to 
preach at his place every Sunday. And th'ere every Sabbath 
a large congregation assembled to listen to the Gospel. 

The chiefs of both Western and Eastern Pondoland were 
either powerless or unwilling to check the barbarities of 
heathenism, and they kept the border in constant disorder with 
their frequent petty wars. At length the Cape Government 
sent in the Cape police; Mr. C. Rhodes visited the chiefs, 
Sigcau and Nquiliso, and informed them their authority was 
to be subject to the rule of British magistrates, and the country 
was annexed to the colony without a shot being fired. British 
law and order and British respect for Hfe became supreme. 

When the Rev. E. J. Barrett was appointed to Buntingville 
in 1897 ^® ^^s strongly urged by Bokleni, the son of Nquiliso, 
and his people, to recommence the work of the institution. 
Deputations attended the annual Synod, and earnestly re- 
quested that the deserted buildings should be used for their 
original purpose. As they had borne the cost of the buildings 
the Pondos said the working expenses ought to be found either 
by the Government or the Missionary Society. Neither source 
of help was available. However, Mr. Barrett, in 1901, re- 
opened the school with forty scholars, that have increased to 
seventy, of whom thirty-nine are boarders. It was found im- 
practicable to resume the industrial department, which is a 
distinct loss and a disappointment to the Pondos. Dr. Muir 
seems to centre his attention on the training of natives as 
teachers, whereas God has not fitted every boy and girl for 
that particular calling. Besides, it is an open question whether 
the making of a door or a window has not a higher educational 
value to natives, at their present stage of development, than 
learning the date of the Norman Conquest, or working a sum 
in compound proportion. 'If,' as Herbert Spencer says, * the 
function of education is to prepare for complete living,' there 
cannot be any doubt as to the answer. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION (continued}. 

PALMERTON,— A visitor to Palmer ton in East Pondo- 
land, may see at a certain spot long lines of brick 
foundations slightly protruding above the surface of the 
ground. They are all that remain of the two streets of 
cottages erected by Mn Jenkins* The early promise of the 
mission has not been fulfilled, and the vanished dwellings are 
symbolical of a vanished spiritual success. When Mr. Jenkins 
left for Emfundisweni many of the Christian Pondos accom- 
panied him, and Palmerton was weakened and diminished in 
importance. Within a few years the European minister was 
withdrawn and native ministers w^ere sent. In 1S75 the Rev, 
Clement Johns, the first ordained native minister in Natal, was 
appointed to Palmerton, where he had previously been assistant 
to the Rev, J. Allsopp. He left Emfundisweni on horseback, 
accompanied by Josiah, a yoimg chief^ to proceed to his new 
appointment- When within a few miles of Palmerton, and 
whilst descending the Nkon^olo hill, a heavy thunderstorm 
burst over them. A flash of lightning struck both riders. 
Josiah was stunned, and fell to the ground. Clement Johns 
and his horse were killed. Clement was fearfully burnt ; bis 
clothes were scorched, his leggings were torn to strips, and his 
boots forced off his feet. When Josiah recovered conscious- 
ness and found his companion dead, he rode on to Mr, White, 
a trader, who sent a waggon, and the body was conveyed to 
Palmerton, and buried in the little cemetery there. No one 
could be sent to till the vacancy^ and Palmerton fell into decay, 
A return to European supervision was attempted in 1879, 
when the Rev* W* M* Douglas was appointed to Palmerton. 
Umqikela, the Pondo chief, formed a strong attachment to 
Mr, Douglas, and, like Damas and his father Faku, he was 
opposed to the frequent change of ministers- When Mr, 
Douglas left, in 1881, for a year's furlough in England, Umqi- 

^Pl ■ Digitized by GOOglC 



kelia understood that on his return he would come back to 
Palmerton with his bride. He was, however, required for 
Clarkebury. Umqikela was a savage, accustomed to having 
his slightest wish obeyed, and in his wrath he vowed that he 
would never allow another European minister to be stationed 
at Palmerton. No one was appointed. The church buildings 
were neglected, and the schoolroom was turned into a waggon- 
maker's shop, When Mr. Hargreaves visited the station in 

1882 he almost wept at its condition. * The sight of the place 
distressed me much. I got no sleep all Thursday night.' In 

1883 the Rev. Charles Lwana was sent, and unexpectedly 
Umqikela became attached to him. With the best intention, 
but somewhat thoughtlessly, Lwana was removed the following 

year, and the Rev. R. W. Lewis was 
appointed. Umqikela refused to allow 
Lwana to leave, and Mr. Chubb and 
Mr. Hargreaves were deputed io 
formally visit the chief, and explain 
the position. Umqikela so far yielded 
as to say : * I shall not stop Lwana 
from leaving my country.* But he 
positively refused to receive Mr. Lewis. 
There was another interregnum, and 
the condition of the station became 

In 1885 a native minister, John 
Nomvete, was sent to Palmerton, 
and remained eleven years. He was 
diligent, but could accomplish little. 
Discipline was almost impossible. 
Many of the residents on the station had relapsed into im- 
morality and drinking. Outside the station was the Pondo 
* reign of terror,' with its iron yoke of witchcraft and murder. 
Umqikela fell a victim to Cape brandy, and had wild fits of 
drunkenness. Then came the annexation of Pondoland to 
Cape Colony in 1894, ^^^ with the entrance of English magis- 
trates and English law a new era was opened up to the Pondos. 
An attempt was made in 1896 to reintroduce a European 
ministry into Palmerton in the person of the Rev. W S. Davis, 
but the work had to be commenced afresh. The condition of 
the people was such that it almost daunted the faith and energy 
of the worker. No one seemed willing to stay long. Mr. 
Davis remained two years, the Rev. B. Taylor one year, the 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 305 

Rev. G. H. P. Jacques two years, the Rev. W. Hindes three 
years. In 1905 the Rev. J. S. Morris was sent at his own re- 
quest, and, as he is well known to the Pondos from his work at 
Buntingville, he may be able to win their attention, and retrieve 
the losses of the past. One of his first duties was to bury 
Sigcau, the chief who died comparatively young, and who was 
buried in the gateway of his kraal in his clothes, with his saddle 
and bridle and bedding, and then the grave was filled in and 
the cattle driven over and over until they trampled out all 
recognition of the exact spot, and so prevented it being used 
for magical purposes. 

No other station of the Methodist Church has had a more 
discouraging history ; but the Gospel has not lost its converting 
power, and in the Palmerton Circuit nearly 400 Pondos are 
either members of our church or are on trial. Palmerton is 
situated amid beautiful scenery, and is idyllic in its quiet love- 
lin^s. * Only man is vile/ But that vileness can be changed 
into moral beauty by the Holy Spirit, and there may yet arise 
a new Palmerton which shall inspire the workers and richly 
bless Western Pondoland. 

Emfiindisweni, East Pondoland.— After the deaths of Mr. 
Jenkins and Faku, the Pondos were less disposed to listen to 
the Gospel. The personal links were broken, and no mis- 
sionary remained a sufficient time at Emfundisweni to secure 
the attachment of the chiefs. The Pondos were brutal, sensual, 
and cunning ; and were continually engaged in petty wars with 
their neighbours, the Bacas and the Xesibes, two small fierce 
tribes living higher up on the slopes of the Drakensberg range. 
For several years the Rev. J. R. Cameron toiled against in- 
creasing opposition. Kraals were broken up; people were 
scattered; and new conversions did not compensate for the 
migration of members elsewhere. The few native local preachers 
lost hope ; two or three of them would go out together on the 
Sabbath, * a man and his calves,* as the Pondos contemptuously 
called them, and visit the nearest kraals. Probably they found 
the people occupied in beer-drinking and beef-eating; there 
was no disposition to hear their message ; and in the evening 
the preachers returned, having made little impression on the 
sensual minds of the heathen. When Mr. Cameron left in 

1 88 1 no European minister was sent for a year. 

The Rev. P. Hargreaves was appointed to Emfundisweni in 

1 882 upon his return from England. His succe^ss at^^^]f|wry 

20 ^ 



encouraged the hope that, under the guidance of the Holy 
Spirit, Pondoland might yet be won to Christ. The station, 
on his arrival, presented a forlorn appearance. The house was 
in a filthy condition, and the thatched roof was full of holes. 
The verandah floors had been grubbed up by pigs, the fences 
were broken down, and the whole scene was one of neglect 


and ruin. But the spiritual outlook was equally saddening. 
The services on the Sabbath were thinly attended; in dress 
and morals the people on the station had retrograded, and 
Mr. Hargreaves exclaimed : * Such a state of things is more 
than flesh and blood can bear.' 

In a few weeks the mission house put on a new appearance. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 307 

Then, visiting from hut to hut, Mr. Hargreaves fanned the 
smouldering embers of spiritual life into a flame, until the 
church was too small for those who came to hear. His quiet, 
unobtrusive manner won the confidence of the Pondos, whilst 
his medical skill extended his influence to the remotest corner 
of the country. 

Tribal wars still seriously interfered with mission work. 
One Sunday morning in March, 1886, as the congregation was 
worshipping in the church, and Mr. Hargreaves was preaching, 
a native woman stood on the hill overlooking the station, and 
raised the war cry. The sound came through the open windows 
of the church, and in a moment the men rushed out for their 
weapons. The Xesibes were invading Pondoland, burning 
kraals, and firing on the Pondos. Next morning 8,000 Pondos, 
under Umhlangaso, streamed up to the border, and prepared 
to cross it, to attack the Xesibes, which meant war with the 
colony, for they were under the protection of the Govern- 
ment. Mr. Hargreaves went to the Pondo camp, and urged 
Umhlangaso to inquire first of the magistrate at Mount Ayliff", 
sixteen miles distant, if he could tell them why the Xesibes 
had raided Pondoland. To this he consented, and a messenger 
was sent, who returned with a letter from the magistrate, stating 
that the Xesibes had attacked the Pondos because they had 
stolen some of their horses. Mr. Hargreaves read the letter 
to Umhlangaso, and repeatedly urged him to disperse his men. 
Umhlangaso refused, and ordered up more men, preparatory 
to crossing the border. Three days later Mr. Hargreaves 
sent a strong remonstrance against the invasion of the Xesibe 
country, and this had the desired effect. Umhlangaso ordered 
his warriors to disperse, and came down to the mission house 
to tell the missionary what he had done. * That night,' said 
Mr. Hargreaves, * I had a little sleep ; but for four nights I 
had not slept an hour. It is difficult to give an idea of our 
anxiety. We saw no means of getting out of the country. 
My heart ached when I thought of our little ones.' The 
Government formally thanked Mr. Hargreaves for his efforts 
to prevent war. 

Six months later the Xesibes again invaded Pondoland, to 
avenge thefts of cattle. The Pondos fought, but were defeated 
and fled. Emfundisweni was completely deserted. A mes- 
senger came to Mr. Hargreaves, telling him to leave imme- 
diately. * You are sure to be killed ; go at once.' The traders 
on the station left, urging him to follow them. "* No,*^|)^^, 

20 — 2 ^ 

3o8 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 

* I cannot go, I am a missionary.' He got a letter through to 
Mr. Stanford, the chief magistrate, who met Mr. Hargreaves 
at Fort Donald on the road to Kokstad, and commissioned 
him to use all his influence with the Pondos to secure peace. 
The Cape Mounted Rifles were massed at Fort Donald, ready 
to enter Pondoland and attack the Pondos if they renewed the 
fight. The Pondos assembled in great force a few miles distant, 
and the Government sent them an ultimatum, giving them 
fifteen days in which to meet representatives and discuss the 
terms of peace. The fifteen days expired on November 29, but 
at Umqikela's request the time was extended to December 2. 
Umqikela delayed, and in the middle of the night Mr. Har- 
greaves sent a messenger to him, saying : * You must come at 
once, or there will be war.' Still Umqikela did not come. 
Mr. Hargreaves sent for Umhlangaso, the chief's cousin and 
general. * You must go with me, or I shall not remain in the 
country.' They set off in a pouring rain, and met the Cape 
Mounted Rifles just as they were about to move on the Pondos. 
Four days more grace were secured, and it was arranged they 
were then to meet within Pondo territory at Ntola's kraal. 
On the day appointed the Government forces took up their 
position. The Pondos, in large numbers, assembled at some 
distance in a huge circle, but they would not approach. 
Umqikela retired to a neighbouring kraal, saying he was ill. 
The English commander was unwilHng to fire, and at Mr. 
Hargreaves' entreaty granted twenty four hours further delay. 
The next day came, and thousands of armed Pondos assembled 
with Umqikela in their midst ; but to all Mr. Hargreaves' 
messages that they should lay down their arms and salute the 
English they returned no reply. They were, in fact, planning 
how to attack the English forces should they fire first. It was 
now noon, and Mr. Hargreaves sent word to the Pondos : * If 
you do not come to meet the English I shall go home, and you 
must take the consequences.' Then they yielded, and began 
to draw near. The conference commenced at half-past five 
o'clock, and lasted until half-past ten at night. The terms of 
peace were agreed upon, and next day they were signed. 
Mr. Hargreaves was again thanked by the Government for 
his unselfish labours. 

Mr. Hargreaves employed the interval of quiet which fol- 
lowed the settlement of 1886 in stationing, in various parts of 
Pondoland amongst the heathen, several native Christian men, 
full of zeal and devotion, to preach to them the unsearchable 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1906 309 

riches of Christ. It was a wise step, and woke in many of the 
Pondos a consciousness of their spiritual destitution. 

In 1888 a son of Umhlangaso was sent to Germany to be 
educated as a doctor, but the climate not suiting his constitu- 
tion he was suddenly ordered back, and, landing at Durban, 
died on the road from Natal. A letter was forwarded to the 
parents, informing them of his illness, but it was not delivered 
until after his body had been brought to Emfundisweni. For 
this delay, and even for the youth's death, the local trader, 
being postmaster, was held responsible. The day after the 
funeral a number of Pondos looted the trader's shop, which 
was about five hundred yards from the mission house. When 
Mr. Hargreaves got there he found the shop surrounded by 
Pondos, almost mad with drink. He spoke to the chiefs, 
saying : * This is a dreadful thing you are doing to a white 
man. Let all this cease, and let the man be called to the 
Great Place, so that the matter may be talked over. Their 
passions were excited, and they refused to listen, so Mr. Har- 
greaves went and sat down by the trader. A big Pondo came 
up with an assagai, and, waving it about, said : * Why are you 
sitting with that white trader ? Why are you sitting with the 
man who has killed a child of our chief? He ought to be 
killed and cut up.' Mr. Hargreaves had a stick in his hand, 
and, lifting it up, he brought it down with considerable force 
on the man's back, saying : * Why do you talk these things in 
the name of Umqikela ?' Again and again the stick descended 
on the man's back, until he fled as hard as his legs could carry 
him. The end of the affair was that the trader was fined 
eighty blankets and thirty head of cattle, besides losing the 
goods taken out of his store. 

The same year a sickness broke out among the people which 
baffled all their doctors, and they came up in hundreds to 
Emfundisweni for medicine. In the course of a week Mr. 
Hargreaves administered about four thousand doses. Early 
in the morning they besieged the parsonage for treatment. 
He gave them medicine, but added : * You must go and bathe 
every morning ; you must have your houses smeared according 
to your custom every day ; you must put your calves and goats 
outside, and keep your dwellings clean.' The people came 
from all parts, and Mr. Hargreaves got them into the church, 
and preached to them on the pity of the Saviour for sinners. 
Many of them had never seen a brick building or a missionary. 
* Some may say,' observed Mr. Hargreaves, * jfj^i^^j J^l|i§(^^kness 


was chance, but I believe it was of God. A few months before 
they were for driving the missionary away, and now God brought 
them to the missionary.' 

Mr. Hargreaves had to endure the contumely and slander 
which are sometimes cast on the missionary by dishonest and 
unscrupulous men. Pondoland was suddenly credited with 
untold wealth. Diamonds, gold, copper, and coal were alleged 
to exist under 'the soil in fabulous quantities. What Mr. Har- 
greaves had to do with the alleged discoveries it is difficult to 
understand, unless the speculators believed that he would use 
his influence with the chief to dissuade him from granting 
them the much-coveted concessions. But for months Mr. 
Hargreaves was ferociously reviled in the local press. Subse- 
quently, at a missionary meeting held at Umtata, he alluded 
to these attacks. * It is said that I am using my position for 
acquiring ground to enrich myself; well, it is true, I have 
acquired a little ground, but the only plot I possess is that 
wherein lie the bodies of my two little children waiting the 
resurrection mom, and I scarcely think that even my traducers 
will rob me of that.' The effect was electrical, and there were 
few present who were not deeply touched by so pathetic an 

In 1 891 Mr. Hargreaves was President of the Conference, 
which met in Maritzburg, and he discharged the duties of the 
office in a manner which won for him the increasing esteem of 
his brethren. 

Two events have had a favourable influence on the recent 
history of the Pondos. One was the death of Umqikela. 
After he became a victim of drink, he was the tool of unscrupu- 
lous adventurers, whose greed threatened to imperil the country. 
When he died, Sigcau succeeded to the chieftaincy; he was 
cruel and sensual, but not easily imposed upon, and land- 
grabbers were checked in their nefarious schemes. The other 
event was the annexation of Pondoland to Cape Colony in 
1894, which was arranged in the mission house at Emfun- 
disweni, where Major Elliott met Sigcau, and, assisted by 
Mr. Hargreaves, they arranged the terms of union. The 
missionary's influence and advice, as much as Major Elliott's 
firnmess and conciliatory conduct, secured a pacific settlement 
of a very thorny problem. With the entrance of English 
magistrates, many of the evils afflicting Pondoland were swept 
away, and greater facilities were afforded for the spread of the 
Gospel. Sigcau chafed occasionally against English rule, and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 311 

once refused to pay the hut tax imposed by the Government. 
When a small colonial force entered Pondoland to enforce 
payment, he fled to his mother's kraal, and was there arrested. 

In the face of formidable difficulties, 1,600 Pondos have 
been won from heathenism, and are at present members of the 
Methodist church at Emfundisweni, and at Emnceba, twenty- 
five miles to the west. No one but the Great Master knows 
what unwearying faith and labour have been put forth to 
wrest even that number from the grip of barbarism. A witch 
doctress found Christ in revival services at Emfundisweni, and 
went home, told her husband and neighbours what wonderful 
things the Lord had done for her, destroyed her medicines and 
charms, and showed by her daily conduct that she had com- 
menced a better life. Even the people that cling to their old 
institutions and customs have largely lost faith in them, and 
are feeling their way to the light of the Gospel. 

This account would be incomplete without some allusion to 
the long and valuable services of Mr. Coster, an old West- 
minster student, who, as an itinerant evangelist, has bravely 
worked for many years in the north-eastern portion of Pondo- 
land. He lives close to the Umtamvuna River mouth, quite 
alone, and for cheerfulness and devotion to his work it would 
be hard to find his equal. 

Emfundisweni is now a fine old place. The mission house 
is a wild rambling dwelling, with a romantic garden containing 
some marvellous fruit trees, and round about are gigantic oaks 
and well grown chestnut trees. The Rev. S. Clark now 
inhabits it, and is no unworthy successor of Mr. Hargreaves, 
or even of the founder, Mr. Jenkins, who, if the sainted dead 
are permitted to revisit the scenes of their earthly labours, will 
oft rejoice in the coming of the Kingdom of Christ with power 
to the Pondo nation which he so deeply loved. 

Bensonvale. — When the Rev. J. Start was appointed to 
Benson vale, in the Herschel Reserve in 1876, the sight of 
thousands of heathen natives raised in his mind the question. 
How are these to be won to Christ ? His answer was * Chiefly 
through native agency. Youths must be truly converted, then 
carefully trained, and sent forth to carry the Gospel to their 
degraded countrymen.* He attempted to embody his convic- 
tions in a training institution. In buildings already existing 
he commenced with sixteen boys. When the Government 
Inspector pronounced the buildings unfit, he appealed to the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



Missionary Committee, who gave ;^5oo, and with this sum and 
the assistance of the natives of Bensonvale, suitable buildings 
were erected. Mr. G. Baker came from Clarkebury to take 
charge of the educational work, but unexpected difficulties 
hindered its expansion. 

First, there was Moirosi's rebellion, which created great 
unrest among the people. For nine months the old chief held 
his mountain fortress against the colonial forces, until one 
morning it was stormed and taketi. 

Then an unsympathetic Government refused to give capita- 
tion grants for more than twelve boys, though twenty-seven 
were in residence. The Dutch were supreme in Parliament, 
and the education of the natives was discouraged. To avoid 
debt, the number of students was re- 
duced to twenty. 

When Mr. Start left in 1885, the 
Institution was carried on in succes- 
sion by the Revs. G. Waterhouse, 
and W. Baker, both of whom placed 
it on a broader foundation, and estab- 
lished an order and discipline that left 
little to be desired. Mr. G. Baker, the 
able headmaster, saw the number of 
scholars increase until three European 
teachers were required. There were 
only two class-rooms, and one class 
had therefore to be taught in a 
dormitory among the bedding. Money 
or no money, more accommodation 
had to be provided. The natives 
realized the value of the Institution, and gave their services to 
secure the enlargement of the premises. They quarried stone 
from the hillside ; native masons put up the walls ; a Euro- 
pean carpenter did the more difficult work; the Rev. W. 
Baker, was his own glazier and painter, and by September, 
1898, Bensonvale Institution entered into new dormitories and 
additional class-rooms. 

So popular became the Institution, and so large was the 
number of youths who applied for admission, that when in 
1900 the Rev. G. Weaver was appointed governor, he had to 
consider the necessity for providing more dormitories, more 
class-rooms, new furniture, and a larger carpenter's shop. The 
greater portion of the cost of these additions will be given by 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


AN Eli A OF EDUCATION, 1875-1906 


the natives themselves, who have learned to make sacrifices 
for the education of their children. There are now 142 boarders 
and 280 day scholars. 

The one difficulty which is felt in all native schools is that 
the Education Department requires the syllabus of instruction 
for the natives to be modelled on that drawn up for the 
education of Europeans. What may admirably suit the 
one race may be unfitted for natives just emerging from 
barbarism. More elasticity in educational methods is much to 
be desired. 

Idleness is not allowed at Bensonvale. The boys rise at 
six o'clock. Private study occupies them for an hour, and 
scholastic instruction is given from nine until half- past one 
o'clock. From three to five o'clock is 
the time for manual labour, in which 
all the boys engage. They chop wood, 
prepare mealies for their food, knead 
their own bread, and till the land. 
The excellent crops reaped in harvest 
time are the admiration of all the 
neighbours. A contingent receives 
instruction every afternoon in wood- 
work, while others repair roads, fix 
wire fences, transplant trees, and en- 
gage in a variety of industries. Two 
hours in the evening devoted to study 
complete the day, and the boys retire 
at nine. When a scholar proves to 
be a confirmed dunce, he is allowed 
to go home to see his parents and stay 

there. All this presents a remarkable contrast to the indolence 
of their ancestors for ages. 

The spiritual tone of the school is good. On Sabbath 
mornings about thirty youths go forth in companies to the 1 
neighbouring kraals and hold services in which many of the ] 
heathen have been lead to Christ. As Mr. Weaver pithily ; 
says: * The fact that 150 young men are living daily for years 
amid the educational, industrial, and spiritual influences of the 
Institution, means a great deal, not only for the youths them- 
selves, but for the native people in various parts of the land 
with whom they come in contact in the years to come.' 

A few words must be said about the Bensonvale native 
circuit, including Blikana and Ndofela. In this area are 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 

314 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1906 

2 native ministers, 4 evangelists, 108 local preachers, and 
2,300 natives meeting in class. Most of the old fragile 
churches have been replaced by good stone buildings, and at 
Benson vale the church has been enlarged to seat 1,000 persons. 
On sacramental Sabbaths, this large church is filled with com- 
municants alone, and numbers have to stand outside for want of 
room. The early toilers have passed to their reward, but on 
the foundation they laid good substantial work is being done 
by their successors. 

Wittebergen. — To a Europen it may appear insignificant 
what clothing a native Christian wears, but it is not to the 
natives themselves. The discarding of the skin kaross, with 
the beaded ornaments and bangles, and the adoption of Euro- 
pean clothing, is often the outward and visible sign of an 
inward and spiritual change. A trader at Wittebergen said to 
the missionary : * You must have had a number of heathen 
people joining your church lately.* *Why?' was the inquiry. 
* Because I have had a lot of fresh people buying dresses, 
shawls, and blankets.* Another trader said : * Twenty years 
ago, when I came to Wittebergen, the average number of 
pieces of print that I kept on my shelves was four, and they 
lasted a long time. Now I keep 400 pieces on the shelves.' 
This did not arise from increase of population, but from change 
of wearing apparel. Conversion created a desire for personal 
cleanhness, and the red clay and the skin kaross were cast 
aside for the products of the looms of Manchester and 

In the circuit of Wittebergen are some fine examples of 
enlightened native laymen, scholars of Ben son vale. One 
native has been interpreter on the station for fifty years. He 
was a married man when Queen Victoria ascended the throne, 
and still rides long distances to his appointments as a local 
preacher. His name is Jacob Mlamleli. 

Scattered over the district are many European farmers, who 
would be destitute of religious services but for the missionary. 
The Rev. M. J. Letcher, in addition to the native work, devotes 
considerable attention to their spiritual needs. He periodically 
holds services at Lady Grey, twelve miles distant, where a 
pretty little church has been erected. He rides long distances 
in order to visit the residents on lonely farms, crossing the 
Orange River into Orangia, and travelling as far as Smith- 
field and Zastron in the Conquered 1 erritory. This is true 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1906 315 

missionary work, and equal in importance to his labours 
amongst the natives. 

Kamastone. — This district has grown, by immigration and 
natural increase of population, into a native reserve, and 
includes the Ox Kraal and Kamastone locations. The latter 
may be said to be the recognised sphere of influence of the 
Methodist church, in which the greater portion of the people 
have become Christians. The membership in 1904 was 863, 
with 220 on trial, and 112 juniors. 

In 1877 the Government surveyed the location, and gave 
individual titles to the occupiers. This was a great incentive 
to the improvement of their dwellings. The Kamastone 
section was divided into eight blocks, each of which has about 
ninety allotment^, and forms a convenient centre for mission 
work. A large piece of land, in extent about 390 acres, was 
secured as a glebe for the Methodist church, and provides a 
source of considerable revenue. 

Sites for churches and schools, and garden-plots for teachers 
were set aside ; but transfer was not applied for until the year 
1900, when the aggressive attitude of the Ethiopians made the 
possession of titles imperative. Since that time, however, the 
proselyting character of the movement has subsided. 

Kamastone has two sub-stations — Tarkastad and Winter- 
burg. The native church at Tarkastad has been very suc- 
cessful, though the Presbyterians and Anglicans have since 
established themselves in the town. The fact that the place 
can be visited by the Kamastone minister only once a quarter, 
as it involves a journey of seventy miles, is a testimony to the 
attachment of the congregation to Methodism, and to the 
fidelity of the successive evangelists placed in charge. 

Several years ago English services were held at Tarkastad — 
indeed a church was built — but financial embarrassment led to 
the abandonment of the work and the sale of the church to the 
Anglicans. Methodists worshipping with other congregations, 
but retaining their Methodist sympathies, are desirous that 
their own church should recommence services in Tarkastad. 
The total European population is about 1,000, and the experi- 
ence gained in Bedford, where the circumstances were similar, 
suggests the utmost caution in re - entering a town once 
abandoned, and now well supplied with Christian services by 
other churches. 

At Tendergate, on the Zwartkei, about twenty miles from 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

3i6 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1906 

Kamastone, a church has been built, in which the Wesleyan 
minister preaches on the second Sunday in the month, and the 
Anglican minister on the fourth. This arrangement has been 
in existence for years, and gives satisfaction to the community. 

Tsomo, in Fingoland, was for many years neither picturesque 
nor useful. Few Fingo families lived on the station, and their 
huts were meaner than usual. The transition from heathenism 
to Christian civilization sometimes left for a time those who 
made the change with little stimulus to progress. The control 
of the chief was withdrawn, whilst the new Christian motive 
was imperfectly understood. The result was in many instances 
careless, slothful habits. The final issue was not doubtful, for 
Christianity does not only destroy, it constructs and uplifts to 
a higher level of life. 

The Rev. J. S. Morris arrived at Tsomo in 1873, and with 
characteristic energy he devoted himself to the material im- 
provement of the station, and the moral improvement of the 
people. The church, erected by Mr. Rayner, was decaying — 
to-day it is a grass-covered mound — so he commenced a large 
stone church, which, when completed, was pronounced by the 
Rev. W. J. Davis at the opening service to be * the best built 
and best furnished place of worship east of the colonial 
boundary.' On the opening day natives flocked in from every 
part of Fingoland ; the collection amounted to ;^450, and the 
church, which had cost ;f 1,000 was opened free from debt. 

During the pastorate of the Rev. W. S. Caldecott in 1891, 
some of the Fingos set up a claim to the Tsomo mission lands 
on the plea that they were included in the grant of Fingo- 
land to their headmen. The date of that grant was 1871. 
Mr. Caldecott, happily, was able to prove that six years before 
Sir Walter Currie had given the lands to the Wesleyan 
Missionary Society, and the grant had been confirmed by 
Sir Philip Wodehouse. In Sir Walter Currie's note book, 
which was produced, were clearly marked down the boundaries 
of the groimd ; the title was recognised by the Colonial Govern- 
ment ; it could not do otherwise, and this was one of the 
few cases in which the safe tenure of mission property was 

Whilst the Rev. C. S. Lucas was the resident minister 
(1896 to 1904), seventeen new churches were built in the 
Tsomo Circuit Although some of them are small, others are 
built of stone, and fairly well furnished. When Mr. Rayner 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



built his church there was not another within thirty miles; 
now almost every valley has its place of worship to which the 
people come every Sabbath neatly clad. 

The latest development in Tsomo is the erection of a school- 
room, which was completed in 1902. Nearly 1,000 natives 
crowded into the building, and hour after hour, gift after gift 
was made until the whole of the cost was defrayed. The 
natives give freely out of their poverty. 

In 1900 services were commenced in the court house of the 
little trading town of Cofimvaba, twelve miles from Tsomo. 
In 1904 the congregation built a neat church costing about 
;^5oo, and having a stained glass 
window to the memory of Miss 
Thomas, daughter of a Wesleyan 

Annshaw. — In 1871, the year in 
which the Rev. W. C. Holden arrived 
at Annshaw, Kama was seventy 
years old. He lived in a cottage, 
with thatched roof and verandah, 
covered with climbing flowering 
plants. He was infirm, and had to 
be driven to church on the Sabbath ; 
but as he slowly walked down the 
aisle to his seat, his tall figure still 
erect, and a benignant smile on his 
intelligent face, he presented a fine 

type of a native Christian gentleman. As a chief, he ruled 
justly, and promoted peace. He was trusted by his subjects. 
Christian and heathen alike. He was modest, where other 
chiefs were vain and proud ; he was pure in the presence of 
low ideas of morality ; he was generous and forgiving where 
the tribal code inculcated revenge. In his last illness he was 
urged by those of his councillors who continued heathen to 
call in the aid of the native doctors, but he declined. He 
became speechless, and smiling several times, as if thanking 
those who waited upon him. he quietly passed away. He 
died in the year 1875, and on his tombstone was placed the 
simple record : * A noble man, a just governor, and a faithful 

Four years later the tribe built to his memory a church 
costing ;^3,ooo. A drought caught them in the middle of the 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 


3iS AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1906 

enterprise, but they completed the building, and the * Kama 
Memorial Church ' embodies the love and respect of the tribe 
for their chief. . His wife, Nongwani, a daughter of the great 
chief Gaika, and sister of Makoma and Sandile, lived on into 
the twentieth century, and each Sabbath saw her worshipping 
in the church erected to the memory of her husband, until 
blindness and weakness compelled her to remain at home. 
She died in the year 1 901, at least 107 years old, and had been 
a member of the Wesleyan church for seventy-six years. 

Shortly before Kama's death the Colonial Government 
entered into arrangements with certain persons for the sale of 
4,000 acres of the common lands of the tribe without any 
reference to Kama, and sent down a surveyor to draw up a 
diagram of the land to be sold. It was one of those high- 
handed proceedings which occasionally Government officials 
transact in the supposed absence of a restraining title. Fortu- 
nately, Sir George Grey*s deed of gift was preserved in the 
deeds safe of the General Superintendent at Grahamstown, 
and was easily produced. The Commissioner of Crown Lands 
was embarrassed by the production of the deed ; the Surveyor- 
General, he said, had no copy of it, and in order to escape 
from an unpleasant position, he declined to treat with 
Mr. Holden on the subject. Kama was the only one with 
whom he would negotiate. But Kama was in his last illness, 
and was unable to attend to business Prompt action was 
taken on the advice of Mr. Holden. Kama transferred the 
chieftaincy by legal deed to his son William Shaw Kama; 
that was the last act of his public life. The son communi- 
cated with the Government, and after considerable correspond- 
ence, the claim of the tribe to the land they held was finally 
admitted, but made contingent on good behaviour. 

In the original deed of gift. Sir George Grey pledged the 
Government to dam up the Keiskama River, and lead the 
water out for the irrigation of the lands. But the Govem- 
could not shake off the feeling of antagonism generated by 
frequent wars. Kafirs were Kafirs, even if they had been 
loyal, to spend money on whom was not to be thought of, so 
it declined to fulfil the pledge given. Twenty-five years later 
the Government reconsidered the subject, and made a furrow 
from the Keiskama eight miles long, but the work was badly 
done, and within nine months of its completion, the furrow 
broke, and has been useless down to the present day. In the 
course of years Annshaw assumed an attractive appearance. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1875-1905 319 

The cultivated lands, the groves of mimosa thorns, the neat 
church and mission house, the tidy cottages of the people, with 
the distant view of the lofty peak of Thaba Ndoda made a 
picture on which the eye rests with pleasure. 

William Shaw Kama at one time intended to enter the 
Wesleyan Ministry, and for a time was a probationer ; but at 
the request of his subjects he relinquished his cherished desire 
and assumed the duties of chieftainship. Like his father, he 
was tall, retiring in his habits, and gentlemanly in his manners. 
Under his rule the people prospered. He died in 1899, leaving 
no son to succeed him. 

After his death the tribe was split into factions. Gange- 
lizwa, a son of Samuel Kama, was appointed headman, but he 
joined the Ethiopian church, which had already created dissen- 
sion and disorder among many of the 
native ''congregations. Gangelizwa's 
brother and rival, Songo, adhered to the 
Wesleyan church ; the people became 
divided in their sympathies; ecclesi- 
astical disputes were introduced into 
church affairs, and the spiritual char- 
acter of the congregations was lowered. 

Notwithstanding the disintegrat- 
ing influences of Ethiopianism; the 
Methodist mission in the Annshaw 
circuit is not retroceding. There are 
four sections in the circuit : Annshaw, 
fourteen miles by six, occupied by 5,000 
of Kama's people ; Perksdale, ten miles 
by six, tenanted by another 5,000 of ^^^- ^- holford. 

Kama's people ; Amatole Basin, eight 

miles square, inhabited by 4,000 Fingos ; and Keiskama Hoek, 
eighteen miles by ten, occupied by 8,000 Fingos. Over each 
section is a native minister, and the whole is under the guidance 
of the European minister, who lives at Annshaw. In these 
four sections are more than 3,000 members of the church, 87 
preaching places, 168 local preachers, and 31 day schools. 

Mount Coke.— After the death of Mr. Appleyard, the printing 
press continued its useful work under the management of the 
Rev. W. Holford. In 1876 the press was removed to 
Grahamstown, and there it remained until it was closed, as 
Kafir books could be printed more cheaply and better in 

England. Digitized by LnOOQlC 

320 AN ERA OF EDUCATION; 1S75-1905 

The residents at Mount Coke are poor. Uncertain employ- 
ment, destruction of crops by drought or locusts, result in debt, 
from which it takes years of careful labour to recover. At 
Mount Coke, and its sub-stations, Etyolomnqa, and Tamara, 
1,400 natives are members of the church ; Christianity has 
improved their condition ; they live in better houses than the 
heathen ; they try to clothe themselves and their children ; 
but in the absence of any ability to undertake skilled work in 
any form, little progress can be made. A community of 
unskilled labourers must always be poor. 

Mount Coke is the oldest mission station in the east of Cape 
Colony ; it shared for many years in the liberal grants made 
by the Missionary Committee in London ; it had the benefit of 
the labours of experienced missionaries; but the natives did 
not develop that self-reliance which on many other mission 
settlements has been an important element of success. The 
result is an enervated piety which does little, hopes for little. 
In the neighbourhood of Mount Coke are still thousands of 
raw heathen natives, and these can only be reached by a 
return to early missionary methods. Methodism must become 
aggressive and vigorous. Using Mount Coke as a centre from 
which raids may be made into the surrounding heathenism. 
The secret of success is to attack. 

The magnitude of mission work is beginning to be compre- 
hended. Within the area controlled by the Wesleyan Con- 
ference of South Africa, in extent 367,918 square miles, or 
three times the size of Great Britain and Ireland, are 2,564,000 
natives, and of these about 103,000 are either members of our 
Church, on trial for membership, or are meeting in junior 
classes. It would not be safe to multiply this number by a 
higher numeral than four to arrive at the total number of 
adherents of our church, or about 412,000. So that of 
this vast native population only 16 per cent, can be con- 
sidered as attached to us, and only 4 per cent, as united 
with us in the closer bonds of Christian fellowship. In 
Transvaal and Rhodesia are 1,721,000 natives, and it is prob- 
able that the percentage of those who are associated with 
Methodism is much smaller than in the older colonies. Other 
Christian churches are zealous in extending the knowledge of 
the Gospel of Christ among the native races, and in their 
successes we sincerely rejoice; but, after making a liberal 
estimate of their work, we have to acknowledge that at least 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 ^i 

60 per cent, of the natives of South Africa are still heathen. 
This mass of human beings, degraded by centuries of super- 
stition and war, debased by polygamy and witchcraft, furnishes 
an unlimited field for evangelistic eflfort. 

It is impossible to leave them alone in their heathenism, as 
some advocate. In many ways, and especially at the mines 
and seaports, the natives come into contact with the European, 
and they more readily acquire his vices, which meet their view 
everywhere in the public street, than imitate his virtues and 
sobrieties. As the Commission on Native Affairs pointedly 
states : * It must be accepted as an axiom that contact with 
what we are accustomed to regard as civilization has a 
demoralizing tendency as its first effect on primitive races. 
The native is year by year becoming familiar with new forms 
of sexual immorality, intemperance, and dishonesty, and his 
natural imitative disposition, his virility, and escape from home 
and tribal influences, provide a too congenial soil for the cultiva- 
tion of acquired vices.' The Kafir has centuries of barbarism 
behind him, and it cannot be surprising that he is unstable in 
character. Often after a few months' employment, and not 
unfrequently without any ostensible reason, he forsakes his 
work and goes back to the lazy life of the kraal. It is in this 
moral instability, and not in intellectual capacity, that the 
natives are deficient. We may not leave them alone. As a 
Christian people, we cannot shake off the * white man's burden ' 
of responsibility. We have to cure, and not to increase, their 
natural immoralities ; we have to correct, not perpetuate, their 
habits of capricious and spasmodic labour. To neglect them, 
to exclude them from the influences of Christianity, is to make 
them * a menace to civic peace, a reproach to our consciences, 
and a festering source of corruption for our children.* 

It is idle to say that commerce will raise up a new Africa. 
Where humanely and lawfully carried on, trade has produced 
beneficial results. But often it has no lofty ideals, and a poor 
morality. In past years trade made no effort to check the 
tortures and bloodshedding and superstitions of heathenism, 
but in the lust for gain it often debased the natives by selling 
them vile intoxicants. Trade has little educative force, and 
the wonders of civilization, the telegraph and the telephone, 
the photograph and the phonograph, do not inform, but only 
perplex the native mind. They are looked upon as specimens 
of the white man's wizardry. Even the simple implement, 
the plough, was not appreciated by the natives. until the Chris- 
Digitized by LnQpQlC 

322 AN ERA OF EDUCATION, 1876-1905 

tian religion had 'aroused in them a conviction that it was 
unmanly to leave the sole cultivation of the land to be done by 
women, many of them with infants on their backs. The new 
man, who can understand the value of trade and the benefits 
of civilization, is a Christian product. 

Even scholastic education, valuable as it undoubtedly is in 
raising the standard of intelligence and material comfort, needs 
to be co-ordinated with moral and religious instruction. The 
complaint has frequently been made that education makes 
many of the natives restless and ambitious. If that is true, it 
is because in the acquisition of knowledge the formation of 
character has lagged behind. * Knowledge,' as Lord Selborne 
says, * is tools '; but tools in unskilful hands may inflict serious 
injuries. Character, or in other words the power to use know- 
ledge aright, lies in the cultivation of reverence, self-reliance, 
humility, independence of thought, integrity ; and if these are 
neglected, knowledge often puffs up, and gives the natives 
inflated ideas of their own ability. It is some safeguard that 
most of the native education is imparted in State-aided mission 
schools in which moral training is not neglected. 

We have pleaded that the education of natives should 
include industrial training, in which they can learn the various 
arts needed to improve the conditions of their daily life. In 
old civilized communities tradesmen and mechanics abound, 
and it is easy for a youth to acquire the mastery of a handi- 
craft. Among the natives are no such facilities, and for the 
present, and probably for years to come, trade schools will 
have to supply training in agricultural and mechanical arts. 
The native has abounding energy, though it is fitful; and 
before the European came he found exercise for his faculties 
in hunting, war, and tribal politics. But new conditions have 
closed this field of activity, and if he is to be saved from besotted 
idleness, other outlets for individual energy must be provided. 
The Native Affairs Commission, from whose valuable report 
we have already quoted, says, * Workshops and school-farms 
in connection with elementary native schools should receive a 
special measure of encouragement and support ; but such aid 
should be conditional upon the payment by the students of 
fees, bearing some reasonable proportion to the cost of their 
board and education. . . . The Commission is impressed 
with the advisability of establishing a native college, for 
the efficient and imiform training of an increased number of 
native teachers, and the provision of a course of study in this 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 

AM ERA OF EDUCATION, 1$75-1906 3^3 

country for Jsuch native students as may desire to present them- 
selves for the Higher School and University Examinations.' 
Emphasis is added to the last suggestion by the fact that each 
year, in the absence of such a college, native parents are send- 
ing their sons to the United States to be educated in negro 
colleges, from which they return with a smattering of know- 
ledge, and a more or less bitter race hatred, which may be 
excusable in a Georgian or Carolinan negro, but is unjusti- 
fiable in a South African native. At a college in this country 
they would acquire the education they desire, and presumably 
would learn to appreciate the privileges and duties of British 

But the elevation of the native races depends chiefly and 
finally on their acceptance of Christianity. Notwithstanding 
that some converts do not at once cast off the sins which, 
when they were heathens, were not looked upon as moral 
offences, there can be no dispute that the great majority of 
Christian natives are examples of purity and integrity. The 
Christian religion does not debase, but exalts and refines. 
Christ is the centre of Christianity, and shows what we feel 
God is, and what we ought to be. He is the Source and 
Sanction of all goodness, and wherever He is accepted and 
loved, men try to be like Him. Jesus Christ is the greatest 
moral and spiritual force in the world. That the native races 
are to be won to Christ is more than a pious dream. The 
Gospel that from the lips of twelve labouring men overturned 
the stubborn paganism of the Roman Empire is equal to 
accomplishing the full triumph of missionary enterprise. The 
rate of progress may depend, as history shows, largely on the 
character of the Christianity of those who call themselves 
Christians. The purer, the more prayerful, the more humane, 
the form of Christianity they present, the more rapid will be 
the acceptance of the Gospel by the heathen population. If 
missions fail, or partly fail, the failure will not lie wholly with 
the missionaries employed, but will have to be shared, and 
largely shared, by the European churches. 

But there is no need that missions should fail. The work 
is the Lord's, and behind every missionary is the Divine 
Presence and promise of final success. Never at any previous 
period have missionary operations been attended with greater 
spiritual results. The complaint of former times that 
heathenism was hard and unyielding is seldom heard now, 
and there is often a joyful note of triumph oyer in(^a^ing|Con- 

524 ^^ ^^^ OF EbUCATldH, i87^.id05 

versions of heathens to Christ. New churches are erected and 
paid for ; leaders and local preachers are devoted, and classes 
are well attended; women's meetings are raising the life of 
the churches; and, greatest marvel of all, the women form 
themselves into bands, visit heathen kraals, and by their 
addresses strike heavily at prevalent secret vices. The cry 
for the Word of Life is heard on every side. On some stations 
purity lodges are formed amongst the native women, who go 
from hut to hut dealing with individuals. The women refuse 
to make Kafir beer, and polygamy is discouraged. There is a 
general desire for knowledge, and schools are being multiplied. 
It may be said that only the fringe of heathenism has been 
touched, and that around our oldest mission stations are still 
thousands of natives sunk in degrading superstitions. But 
the Gospel is leavening even these with its purifying and 
saving influence. The horrible cruelties of witchcraft, the 
savage raids and counter-raids with the reckless loss of human 
life, the immolation of men and women at the death of a chief,, 
are all things of the past. The many tribes of South Africa are 
being uplifted by the Gospel to the high level of a Christian- 
civilization. If to some the progress appears to be slow, let 
us remember we are not thrusting out a pier into the sea : we 
are striving to raise a continent. The uplifting force is not 
ours, but God*s, though as Methodists we may fitly pray that 
we may be not unworthy successors of the missionary heroes- 
and saints who led the way. Christ sits on His throne, and 
that assurance should calm our hearts and stimulate us to 
greater exertion. 

* All things grow sweet in Him ; 
He draws all things into an order fair : 
For He alone it is that brings 
The fading flower of our humanity to perfect blossoming. * 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



TOWARDS the end of the year 1821, in the heat of a 
South African summer, the Rev. S. and Mrs. Broad- 
bent set out from Lilyfontein, in Namaqualand, for 
remote Bechuanaland, where they had been directed 
to form a mission. Mr. Broadbent was a tall, noble-looking 
man, and as brave as he was gentle. The journey was one 
that few would even now care to undertake, for it lay through 
the northern part of Namaqualand and across Bushmanland, 
one of the most desolate and barren regions on the face of the 
earth. Rain seldom falls, and the air is dry in the extreme. 
As far as the eye can reach stretch vast plains of sand, crossed 
by rugged lines of rock. The vegetation is sparse, stunted, 
and spinous. As day after day Mr. and Mrs. Broadbent 
pursued their journey, not a living creature was seen beyond a 
few quaggas and ostriches. The rays of the sun at mid-day 
burnt like flame. At times the sufferings of the oxen were 
intense. Often for days together no water could be obtained 
to quench their thirst, and frequently an ox would fall to the 
ground to rise no more. * We ascend a low eminence,* wrote 
Mr. Broadbent, * hoping to see some relief ; but there is the 
same sickening aspect — sand, sand, and nothing besides.' 

The travellers arrived at the Orange River, and crossed at 
Bishop's Ford, and then they traversed the dry district of 
Western Griqualand. After a painful journey, they arrived at 
Griquatown, where they received a cordial welcome from the 
Rev. Mr. Helm, of the London Missionary Society. 

During the journey, in descending a rocky kloof, and whilst 
Mr. Broadbent \^as endeavouring to steady the descent of the 
waggon, the chain that locked the hind-wheel broke, and he 
was thrown violently forward, and received serious internal 
injury. His strength left him, he became weak as a child ; 
Sind whw twQ n\opths' rest at GriquatQWP brought no im- 

•3 5 Digitized by LnOOQlC 



provement, it was resolved, as the only hope of recovery, to 
take him to GraafF Reinet for medical treatment. 

The Dutch Reformed minister at GraafF Reinet, the Rev. A. 
Faure, heard of Mr. Broadbent's approach, rode out to meet 
him, climbed into the waggon where he lay, cheered him with 
his sympathy, accompanied him into the town, ordered the 
waggon to be driven into the manse yard, and then stood at 
the manse door with his wife to receive his guests. Under 
that hospitable roof Mr. Broadbent lay for six months, hover- 
ing, as it were, between life and death. For this prolonged 
hospitality the Rev. A. Faure refused to accept any remunera- 
tion. He dismissed the obligation with the generous reply, 
* I have only done my duty. Indeed, 
the obligation is on my part. I am 
grateful for the profitable conversations 
which I have had with my afflicted 

The Rev. T. L. Hodgson having 
arrived from England, and Mr-. Broad- 
bent's health being restored, the two 
missionaries started for Bechuanaland. 
It was a strange journey, for they had 
no definite destination. The country 
was little known. They were advised 
to seek a tribe of Barolongs, of which 
Sifonello was the chief ; but where he 
and his people dwelt no one could tell. 
So, like Abraham, they set out, * not 
knowing whither they went.' 
The missionary party crossed the Vaal River on rafts, and 
kept along its right bank in a north-easterly direction. After 
several days' journey they saw a cloud of dust rapidly approach- 
ing, and with it came the lowing of hundreds of cattle, the 
bleating of sheep and goats, which were being rapidly driven 
along by a multitude of men, women, and children, whilst a 
host of armed warriors brought up the rear. Amid the noise 
and confusion they inquired who they were, and who was their 
chief. The reply was given, * We are Barolongs, and our 
chief is Sifonello, and we are fleeing from the Mantatees, who 
have suddenly attacked us. Part of our people have fled with 
Sifonello in one direction, and we have fled in another with 
the chief's brother, Tsabalira.' The missionaries were amazed, 
§Qein^ a providential guidapge wbe^e they had. §cajcdy hoped 



for any, and discovered that the people whom they had been 
seeking had been driven, by the calamities of war, close to 
their encampment. 

Towards evening a fine-looking body of warriors arrived, and 
cried out, * Tsabalira ! Tsabalira !' as if announcing a great 
chief. Opening their ranks, they revealed a tall, strongly-built 
man armed with shield, battle-axe, and assagais, who advanced 
to interview them. An interpreter having been obtained, the 
missionaries explained the object of their visit to the country. 
Tsabalira seemed pleased, assured them his brother would give 
them a hearty welcome, and then, with true native hospitality, 
gave them for food an ox, a heifer, and two sheep. 

In order to avoid the fierce Mantatees, who might be follow- 
ing in the track of the fugitives, the missionaries turned south- 
ward into a wooded district, and there they remained until it 
was safe to resume their journey. The miseries inflicted by 
war met their gaze every day. A little girl, left to perish of 
hunger, was found in a deserted hut. She was a mere skeleton. 
Mrs. Hodgson fed her back to health, and Orphena, as she was 
baptized, became a faithful and trusted servant. A youth was 
found so weak that, when set on his feet, a light wind over- 
threw him. He was nourished and cared for, and afterwards 
rendered valuable help. He was the first Barolong convert to 
Christianity. He accompanied Mr. Broadbent, nursing him 
in sickness, until his departure to England. He then removed 
to Thaba Nchu, where he preached, and taught, and managed 
the printing-press, and lived to the year 1904, a class leader 
and a local preacher of the old Methodist type. His name was 
John Liratsagae. 

In this wooded retreat the missionaries employed their time 
in acquiring a knowledge of the Sechuana language. Every 
ascertained term was carefully written down. Naturally, one 
of the first phrases learnt was * Tlha koano * (Come here), 
which proved of unexpected value. A small body of Mantatee 
warriors discovered the missionary encampment, and ap- 
proached with hostile intentions. Mr. Broadbent, looking out 
of the back of the waggon, saw them advancing, and, desirous 
of conciliating them, shouted out the only greeting in their 
tongue tha't he knew — * Tlha koano.* In a moment every 
weapon was lowered ; each warrior took a step backward, sud- 
denly turned, and then ran as for life. Never having seen either 
waggons or white men before, they fled and told their country- 
men that * they had seen houses walking, full of white devils.' 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


One morning all the oxen were missing. Upon search 
being made for them, the footprints of men and dogs were 
traced, as if in pursuit. There could be only one conclusion : 
the oxen were stolen. Mr. Hodgson and a few servants started 
to find Sifonello, and procure his assistance in recovering the 
stolen cattle. 1?he district abounded at the time with wild 
beasts, and one night, so terrible was the roaring of the lions, 
that the servants, after hastily making a thorn fence, left Mr. 
Hodgson to his fate, and took refuge in some adjacent trees. 
In this peril Mr. Hodgson knelt down and pleaded with God 
for preservation. When morning broke^ it was found that 
outside the frail thorn fence the ground was torn up by the 
claws of the lions, who all night had careered round and round, 
without being able to enter, Mr. Hodgson's retreat. 

Mr. Broadbent, in his little work, * The Barolongs of South 
Africa,' adds the following interesting statement : * My esteemed 
colleague had laboured in the Retford circuit in Nottingham- 
shire, and by the congregations he was revered and loved. 
Among these one was named Thomas Willey, a local preacher, 
who showed a warm aflfection towards his pastor. At the 
period referred to, Mr. Willey was remarkably impressed by a 
dream that his friend in Africa was in some great peril. He could 
not account for his dream, and tried to compose himself again, 
but could get no rest. So he rose from his bed and prayed, if 
his friend was in danger, that God would be his shield and 
protector. Several months afterwards it was found, on com- 
paring dates, that the time of Mr. Willey's dream was the 
same as that of Mr. Hodgson's danger and deliverance from 
the lions.* Such a narrative presents no difficulty to the 
believer in the teaching of Scripture that prayer is one of the 
instruments by which God accomplishes His purposes. 

The stolen oxen were abandoned by the thieves, and foimd 
by Sifonello's men in the open veld. So the waggons were 
once more in motion ; and, led by Sifonello himself, the mis- 
sionaries journeyed to the place where the tribe was dwelling. 
* The chief, wrapped in his skin kaross, and carrying his shield, 
assagais, and umbrella, which was made of ostrich feathers 
fastened on a stick, crowned with Mr. Hodgson's hat, marched 
in front with great dignity, accompanied by his son, Moroka, 
and fourteen warriors fully armed. Thus were the heralds of 
the cross welcomed to the country of the Barolongs.' 

For a time the wandering habits of the people rendered it 
impossible to form a station. The missionaries lived in their 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


waggons, and preached the Gospel as opportunities arose. On 
spiritual subjects the Barolongs were intensely ignorant. Their 
inquiries revealed the materialistic character of their ideas of 
God : * Where is He ? How big is He ? Has He any hair ? 
How many wives has he ?' In war or barter they were 
courageous and shrewd ; but of spirit as opposed to matter, 
and of a spiritual world, they had but a faint idea. 

Doctrinaires who talk of the innocent child of Nature only 
betray their ignorance. Barolong parents would bring their 
own children to the missionary and offer to sell them for a few 
beads. Perceiving a fire in a wood, Mr. Hodgson quietly 
approached, and was horrified to find two women cooking the 
leg of a human being ; and, unabashed by his presence, they 
ate the flesh with greediness, and broke the bones on a stone, 
sucking them with delight. Fierce hunger had made them 
for the time cannibals. The Barolongs had no God, no temple, 
no Sabbath, and no worship. They had no book, no writing, 
and no knowledge of letters. They had no marriage tie. 
Women were exchanged, and bought and sold, and given 
away as presents, and cast off in mere caprice. War was 
their sport, and cattle their spoil. The country was in a state 
of constant unrest, and whole tribes were at times completely 
destroyed. Agriculture was impossible, for the sower never 
knew that he would reap the fruit of his toil. Christianity 
brought peace and the blessings of civilization to the native 
races, and lifted their thoughts out of the narrow circle of their 
barbarous and degrading pursuits up to the eternal God and 
to everlasting life. 

Sifonello decided to settle at Makwassi, in a range of moun- 
tains north of the Vaal, and not far from the present town of 
Klerksdorp. Huts were erected, cattle kraals were made, and 
soon a populous town arose. The missionaries built with their 
own hands two small cottages, dragging stones from the rocks, 
digging foundations, cutting timber, building walls, making 
doors and window frames, and thatching the roofs with grass. 
The buildings were rough, but, after residing for months in a 
waggon, the missionaries thought they were almost like 

Mission work was prosecuted amid many difficulties. The 
language had to be learned, and then reduced to printed form. 
Mr. Levick, of Sheffield, sent a case of type, some ink, and 
printing balls ; and with these aids Mr. Broadbent printed the 
alphabet and words of two or three letters for use in the school. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


A more ambitious attempt was a little book of fifteen pages, 
containing very elementary lessons in the language, no copy of 
which, unfortunately, now exists. The services were held in 
the open air, and the Sabbath was observed as a day of rest. 
Nor was the material improvement of the Barolongs neglected. 
They were taught to cultivate the ground, to grow wheat, and 
to find water underground by digging wells. At the sight of 
a bucket of water drawn up from below, Sifonello was aston- 
ished. At first he looked on the water as magical or poisonous, 
but, being persuaded to taste, he exclaimed : * How cool P 
Within two months there were eight wells in different parts of 
the town, dug by the natives themselves. One unexpected 
result was that the influence of the rain- makers declined. 

The fierce Mantatees, to the number, it is said, of 50,000, 
still roamed over the country, carrying death and desolation 
wherever they went. They had been driven southward by 
the still fiercer Matabele, and, pressed by hunger, had assailed 
several tribes in order to despoil them of their cattle. The 
towns of Mokanning and Latakoo had been destroyed, and 
this vast horde was advancing on Kuruman. The Rev. R. 
Moffat hastened to Griquatown and secured the assistance 
of about a hundred and fifty mounted Griquas armed with 
muskets, and led by Andries Waterboer. The combined 
forces of Griquas and Bechuanas attacked the Mantatees 
near Latakoo, and a long, fierce fight ensued. The Bechuanas 
soon retreated, but the Griquas adopted the tactics that the 
Dutch burghers subsequently employed with such success. 
Riding up to the foe until they were within musket range, they 
poured in a deadly volley, then retired to reload, and so on for 
hours, until several hundreds of the Mantatees had been killed, 
and the whole Mantatee force fled before *the thunder and 
lightning ' of the Griquas. The defeated army retired towards 
Swaziland, and happily they missed Makwassi, which for the 
time escaped destruction. 

Orders came from London in 1824 that Mr. Hodgson was 
to remove to Cape Town, a change that neither he nor Mr. 
Broadbent approved of. About this period there was consider- 
able uncertainty as to the appointments of several of the 
missionaries. Expenses were incurred and valuable time was 
lost by unnecessary and apparently useless changes. As the 
Rev. Richard Watson wrote, * There was danger of too much 
rambling in Africa' But the rambling was caused by the 
absence of any intelligent plan of operation. Mr. Hodgson 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 


had won the confidence of the Barolongs, and had partially 
acquired the language ; whilst to Mr. Broadbent the separation 
was almost as painful as death. * When the waggon moved 
off from Makwassi,' wrote Mr. Broadbent, * myself and my 
wife sat and wept for a long time, feeling as if we were suflfer- 
ing a bereavement.' The Rev. J. Archbell, then at Lily- 
fontein, was appointed to succeed Mr. Hodgson, but before he 
could arrive Mr. Broadbent*s health again broke down. The 
old injury received on the Namaqualand journey, the diet of 
flesh and milk on which they had been obliged to subsist for 
months, without any farinaceous food or vegetables, the de- 
pression of lonehness, brought on a severe illness. One night 
it was deeply impressed upon his mind that he must leave. 

* Something says forcibly to me,' he said to his wife, * that we 
must set off for Griquatown, and we must go soon.' Mr. 
Broadbent was not superstitious, but he did not think it 
prudent to set aside such impressions. Preparations were 
commenced for the journey. Sifonello, Tsabalira, and Moroka 
consented to his departure only on condition that, if spared, 
he would return. They took their departure amid cries of 

* Lumela, Khosi !* (Farewell, Chief !) It was considered bad 
form to speak of a wife by her own name, so Mrs. Broadbent 
was addressed as * Lumela, Ma-Sammy !' (Farewell, mother of 
Sammy !) This son Samuel, then nearly five years old, fell 
out of the waggon when near Grahamstown, and the hind- 
wheel passed over his body, breaking four of his ribs. To the 
astonishment of everybody, he recovered, grew up a vigorous 
youth, and twenty years later went as a missionary to India. 

The mission commenced with so much toil was thus for a 
time deserted, but the desertion had its providential aspect. 
Within a few days of Mr. Broadbent's departure Makwassiwas 
attacked by the combined forces of the Batau, or Lion people, 
under Moletsane, a tribe long ago extinct. They surprised 
the Barolongs by forced marches, and made their assault just 
before daybreak. Sifonello and his people fought bravely, and 
secured most of their cattle, but, overpowered by numbers, 
had to flee. Makwassi was burnt to the ground. The mission 
houses were destroyed. Clothing, books, furniture, coffee, 
and sheep, all were stolen, or destroyed, or scattered over the 
ground. The invaders found in Mr. Broadbent's house a 
leather bag containing a few pounds of gunpowder. In the 
evening, when seated around the fire, this bag was produced, 
apd the small black grains curiously examined, * It. is seed ; 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


the white men use it as food/ said one. * Ah ! but the white 
man never eats his food raw ; we must roast it,' said another. 
Into the fire went the bag, when presently an explosion took 
place that threw them all on their backs. As soon as they 
regained their senses, they fled to the hills, exclaiming, * It is 
the white man's medicine !' 

Late in the year 1825 the Rev. T. L. Hodgson, accompanied 
by the Rev. J. Archbell, returned to the Barolongs, and 
attempted to re-establish the mission. Sifonello, since his 
defeat, had been leading a wandering life, and was now very 
poor. He made an attack on his enemies, hoping to capture 
their cattle, but was defeated. Tsabalira was killed after 
laying six of his foes dead at his feet. Makwassi was still in 
ruins, and presented a dismal scene. Broken pots, fragments 
of furniture, leaves of Dr. Adam Clarke's famous Commentary, 
strewed the ground, and the mission garden was trampled into 
barrenness. The Batau still roamed the country, and any 
attempt to rebuild Makwassi would be the signal for renewed 

To escape from his enemies, Sifonello and his people re- 
solved to remove westward, and Mr. Hodgson undertook to 
search for a suitable place. He discovered a fountain near 
Plaatberg, not far from the present Warrenton Railway Station, 
north of Kimberley, and there they settled. The work of build- 
ing cottages and church had to be done over again, but the 
missionaries counted no labour too heavy, if only the Gospel 
light could penetrate the heathen darkness in which the Baro- 
long lived. Within a few miles were other clans, with whom 
friendly intercourse was opened : the Griquas, under Barend 
Barends ; the Korannas, under Jan Kaptain, a lover of sport ; 
and the Newlanders, under Piet Baatjes. 

Scarcely was Plaatberg occupied, when Sifonello, worn with 
repeated trouble, died. He desired to know the way of salva- 
tion, and with a sigh he said, * When shall I be able to pray ? 
How shall we live in another world ?' After his death his 
son Moroka became chief, and he always cherished a deep 
sympathy with missionaries. * I believe the Gospel,' he said. 
* Many things are not the less true that we cannot understand 

At Plaatberg the Barolongs enjoyed at last quiet and safety. 
Their numbers increased, until there were eight or ten thousand 
people attached to the station. A school was commenced, a 
printing-press was s^t up, regular religious services were held, 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

We Ml^SlO^ to THE BAROLONGS 333 

and every effort was made to promote the welfare of the 

In July, 1828, Mr. Hodgson left Plaatberg in order to devote 
himself to the Griquas at Boetsap, about fifty miles to the 
west. At first Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson lived in a native hut, 
and suflfered considerable discomfort ; but it was better than 
the open air. Soon a small house and then a church were 
built. Under the preaching of the Gospel the dormant con- 
science woke, and the darkened mind was enlightened. 
Numbers were admitted into the Christian Church by the rite 
of baptism ; women rejoiced in a Saviour who exalted and 
purified their life ; boys met in the huts for prayer. Barend 
Barends, the chief, became seriously ill, and frequently uttered 
the penitent's prayer, * God be merciful to me a sinner.' The 
day before he died he said, * Jesus is my Saviour ; my sins are 
forgiven.' In these triumphs of the Gospel Mr. Hodgson re- 
joiced, and felt amply repaid for all his toil. 

In those days the missionaries were compelled to keep a 
flock of sheep and goats to provide themselves with meat, and 
cows to obtain a supply of milk. Numbers of pigmy Bushmen 
infested th<$ neighbourhood, and were a great annoyance. 
The sheep, when they went out in the daytime to feed, were 
shot down by the poisoned arrows of the Bushmen, often three 
and four in a day. They would not touch the carcasses ; these 
would lie for the vultures to eat. It was therefore obvious 
that these acts of lawlessness were prompted by a spirit of 
wanton cruelty, and were not the result of hunger. The native 
herds were dreadfully afraid of these pigmies ; for, though of 
dwarfish stature and of spare build, they were nevertheless 
dangerous by reason of their expert use of the bow and arrow, 
the poison of which is most deadly. 

The health of Mrs. Hodgson having failed, she and Mr. 
Hodgson left for England, and were succeeded by the Rev. T. 
and Mrs. Edwards, who commenced their long and honourable 
missionary career at Boetsap. * The country was barren, the 
people, though respectable, were poor and downcast, and could 
scarcely subsist. On the station there was a strong fountain, 
but the water was so salt that it burned everything up when 
led on for irrigation. The people had therefore to go every 
year to Daniel's Kuil, a place belonging to Waterboer, about 
seventy miles distant, to plough, sow, and reap. * As their 
language was Dutch,' said Mr. Edwards, * I was determined 
\to learn to speak it as soon as possible, so as to preach the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Gospel to them in their own tongue.* At the close of his first 
sermon preached in Dutch, Jan Hendricks, acting as spokes- 
man for the congregation, said : * When we came to hear you 
formerly we were like persons going to a fountain for water, but 
the spring ran very weak, and we brought scarcely anything 
away; but to-night we have had our calabashes filled, we 
have understood all that Mynheer has said.* 

At Plaatberg the people so rapidly increased that the scanty 
water-supply became insufficient, and it was urgently necessary 
that a more fertile and better watered locality should be 
secured. It was known that there were tracts of beautiful and 
unoccupied country along the Caledon River, belonging to 
Moshesh, chief of the Basutos, and Sikonyela, chief of the 
Mantatees; hence it was resolved to form an expedition to 
explore this country. * When all were ready and had come 
together, it was a large and formidable company. There 
were several waggons, and many people on horseback. The 
natives had their guns, powder, and ball, with new flints, for 
theirs were flint-lock guns.* Mr. Archbell and Mr. Edwards 
accompanied the expedition, each in his waggon, containing 
food for the journey. For animal food they depended on the 
spoils of the chase. 

Their- course was up the valley of the M odder River, then 
inhabited by nothing but Bushmen and wild animals. 
Thousands of blesbok, springbok, wildebeest, and hartebeest, 
covered the plains ; they were easily shot down, and meat was 
abundant. The Matabele had a short time before swept like a 
tornado over the district, and as the waggons travelled through 
the long grass it was horrible to hear the wheels crunching the 
bones of human beings slain in war. The corn -pits were full, 
not of grain, but of human skulls. Lions and wolves abounded, 
and had acquired a taste for human flesh. Such was the 
country in 1833. 

On the tenth day of their journey they came to the country 
they sought, Thaba Nchu, * the mountain of blackness,* with 
its sombre basaltic front, its crown of massive rocks, its 
perennial springs, and the fertile plains that stretched on every 
side. Here was room enough, water enough, for thousands, 
and here they resolved, if possible, to make their home. 

* Steps were taken,* wrote Mr. Edwards, *to induce 
Sikonyela and Moshesh, with their councillors, to meet us at 
a given place. They came. Sikonyela had a mean, sneaking 
look ; Moshesh had a bold, manly appearance, with an open 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


and firm countenance. Having all met together, the object of 
our visit was explained. It was to obtain sites for mission 
stations, where the Gospel might be preached to each and all 
who should attend. We also explained that if we came into 
the country to reside, we should bring the people from our 
other stations near the Vaal River, who would be glad to settle 
in a country where, by cultivation, they could obtain a living. 
To all this they listened with interest, and acquiesced in the 
object of our visit. They asked where the sites were that we 
thought would suit us. These having been pointed out, as 
there was no land-surveyor in the country, certain hills and 
other prominently defined boundaries were pointed out and 
agreed to, which encompassed in the aggregate a large tract 
of country about twenty-five miles square. A document was 
then drawn up, a kind of deed of sale, showing the various 
beacons agreed upon, and the amount and manner of payment 
were fixed. This was signed by the chiefs who ceded the 
territory and the influential men of our stations, as also by 
Mr. Archbell and myself, on behalf of the parent Missionary 
Society. This document is still in existence in the Land 
Registry at Bloemfontein.* 

The exodus of the Barolongs from Plaatberg and the other 
stations now commenced. Each missionary had the over- 
sight of the people belonging to his station. Altogether there 
were nearly 12,000 souls, men, women, and children. They 
travelled in a body, as a mutual protection against the Bush- 
men, who from behind the rocks watched their march with 
suspicious eyes. 

At last they arrived at their new homes. Moroka decided 
to settle at Thaba Nchu, where in a short time a large native 
town was built. To European eyes the sight was a novel one. 
No public buildings were to be seen. A vast assemblage of 
huts jostled together, without any apparent order, with cattle 
kraals between. The dwellings occupied two rounded hills, 
forming two distinct communities, under the government of 
two chiefs, Moroka and Tauane. The mission premises were 
placed on a third eminence, somewhat lower down, and stand- 
ing between the two. 

The Griquas settled at Lishuani, nearer to Basutoland ; but 
as they had little firewood, they became dissatisfied and left, 
some to join Adam Kok at Philipolis, and others to join 
Waterboer in Griqualand West. Many of the Basutos came 
down from the mountains and settled at Lishuani, and to these 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Mr. Edwards devoted himself unsparingly. There were many 
children amongst them whom he was anxious to teach to 
read. Of books there were none. The printing-press was 
packed up, and there was no one who knew how to work it. 
So, like Gutenburg, Mr. Edwards cut letters out of the bark 
of trees, dipped them in ink, and stamped them on a sheet of 
foolscap. This paper was then hung up on a hut-pole, and the 
letters were pointed out to the children with a long stick. A 
more comfortable residence than one of reeds and poles was 
the next undertaking. Mr. Edwards with his own hands made 
bricks, about eight hundred a day; he dug stones out of the 
mountains for foundations, until his bleeding fingers had to be 
tied up with rags. * Some may say,* he said, ' that is not suit- 
able work for a minister. True. But for a pioneer missionary 
these are some of the hard and rough duties he has to perform 
in order to establish himself in the midst of a heathen tribe 
to whom he may preach the Gospel. He is doing it unto the 
Lord, and will be rewarded.* 

The house at Lishuani being completed, the station estab- 
lished, and the Basutos settled upon it, Mr. Edwards was 
directed to form a settlement at Impukani, amongst the once 
dreaded Mantatees, but who were now broken and poor. The 
Matabele had swept down upon them and slain thousands, and 
carried off all their cattle. ' Turn whichever way one might, 
he was met with the spectacle of human skulls — skulls of men 
whose bodies had been left in war to be devoured by prowling 
carnivora.* One of the headmen said to Mr. Edwards : * It 
was well you came when you did. We were once a warlike 
people, proud, savage, barbarous, and some of us were 
cannibals. Had you come into the country then, not one of 
you would be now alive. We should have killed every one of 
you, and we should have taken possession of all your waggons, 
oxen, horses, and everything you had. But when you came 
we could do nothing. We were poor, downcast, timid, afraid 
of any stranger, fearing he had come to take our lives.* This 
wild, predatory, bloodthirsty career seems to have been the 
normal condition of the various Bantu races for hundreds of 

At Impukani the usual laborious work had to be undertaken. 
With the assistance of a wandering Englishman, a good-sized 
church and a mission house were erected ; but as the district 
was destitute of wood, all the timber for the buildings had 
to be obtained from the Kat River, in Gape Colony. * After 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


some time employed in teaching and preaching to the people 
the things pertaining to their salvation, a gracious outpouring 
of the Holy Spirit took place. Such a revival,* said Mr. 
Edwards, * I have never seen since.* In the midst of this 
blessed work there came to the station a German doctor, who 
was passing through the country obtaining information in the 
interests of science, and gathering curiosities. Some of his 
views as to his experience of religion were rather sceptical, but 
seeing the work and hearing the earnest crying to God for 
mercy and salvation, he exclaimed : * Why, this is primitive 
Christianity ! This is like it was on the day of Pentecost ! I 
never saw the like before !* Most of these converts remained 
steadfast in the Lord amid much discouragement. The Man- 
tatees, who had fled to the mountains during the attacks of the 
Matabele, seeing the peaceable character of the missionary, 
came down from their fastnesses and settled around the 
station, and Impukani became a prosperous town. 

Mission stations were also formed at Imparani, with Sikon- 
yela, the Mantatee chief ; at Moting, Inkhala, and at Koranna- 
berg among the Basutos; and on these places at different 
periods the Revs. J. Allison, R. Giddy, G. Schreiner, T. Jenkin, 
J. P. Bertram, andf J. T. Daniel, laboured with not a little suc- 
cess. The church, the manse, the garden with its fruit-trees, 
the land with its com and vegetables, and the altered habits of 
many of the people, formed an oasis pleasant to the eye, and 
full of instruction to the heathen. 

Then on all these stations there fell disaster, first of retrench- 
ment, and then of war. About the year 1859, in consequence 
of financial embarrassment in England, orders came for the 
withdrawal of the missionaries from Lishuani, Impukani, and 
Imparani, and these stations were left to the care of native 

Political changes had a calamitous effect on the work. The 
politicians of what was called * the Manchester School * were in 
the ascendant in England, and in their enthusiasm for Free 
Trade they were disposed to lop off all colonies as burdensome 
to the Mother Country, and secure their attachment by com- 
mercial ties only. Cobden wrote : * Our colonies do not pay 
for the expense of protecting and governing them, leaving out 
of the question the interest on the debt contracted in conquer- 
ing them.' Even Disraeli wrote: 'These wretched colonies 
are a millstone round our necks.* Politicians of all shades of 
opinion looked on the colonies with a ledger-keeping mind. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


The Transvaal was sent adrift in 1852, and constituted an 
independent Republic. Two years later the Orange River 
Sovereignty was thrown out of the British Empire as worth- 
less, and fit only for wild beasts. Politicians on both sides of 
the House of Commons seemed to agree that colonies were a 
weakness to Great Britain, and with more or less politeness 
they were bidden to go their way : 

* Keep you to yourselves ; 
So loyal is too costly. Friends, your love 
Is but a burden. Loose the bands and go. * 

The day came when those severed bands had to be reunited 
with the blood of thousands of brave men. 

Freed from the restraint of British law, the Boers com- 
menced a process of slow, grinding encroachment on their 
native neighbours. For years there was border strife with the 
Basutos about boundaries and grazing rights. In 1867 the 
strife blazed up into open, merciless war. The Dutch wrested 
from the Basutos what has since been known as * the Con- 
quered Territory,* which extended along the Caledon River, 
and in which most of the Wesleyan mission stations were 
situated. The Free State Government not only seized the 
country, but, after removing the natives, converted the mission 
stations into farms, and prohibited the Wesleyans from occu- 
pying them any longer. The Dutch burghers were strongly 
opposed to any instruction being given to the natives, and the 
Wesleyan missionaries had to retire. They dug up the fruit- 
trees out of the gardens and carried them away; and when 
harvest time came, they stepped in and reaped the crops both 
of the missionaries and of the natives. Plaatberg, Lishuani, 
Imparani, and Impukani, with many smaller places, ceased 
to exist, and all that remained were the graves of the dead. 
As compensation the Government subsequently gave a farm at 
each station, but the natives being scattered, mission work was 
impossible, and the farms were sold. 

Meanwhile, the work at Thaba Nchu had been quietly pro- 
gressing. The printing-press had been set up, and was in 
the charge of the Rev. R. Giddy, who had been trained as 
a printer. School books, portions of Scripture, the Wesleyan 
Catechisms, and a small hymn book, were printed in Sechuana. 
To Dr. Moffat, of the London Missionary Society, belongs the 
honour of preparing the first version of the New Testament for 
the use of the Bechuauas. Eternity alone will reveal its value. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 




A central church was erected capable of holding 800 people. 

Two smaller buildings for worship were put up in the distant 

parts of Thaba Nchu. A sewing school for the women 

was established. Native youths were 

trained to be teachers. Several 

rendered valuable service as local 

preachers. Reading and writing be- 
came familiar arts, and to a limited 

extent old heathen customs were 

abolished. Moroka, the chief, though 

he never became a member of the 

church, always befriended the mis- 
sionaries and their work. 

As years passed the mission was 

strengthened by the labours of a 

number of devoted men ; James 

Cameron, an "able preacher; Gottlieb 

Schreiner, father of a gifted family of 

sons and daughters ; D. M. Ludorf, 

doctor and Sesuto scholar ; Richard 

Giddy, printer and editor ; James Scott, beloved by English 

and Barolong alike ; John T. Daniel, pastor and counsellor 

of the Barolongs for seventeen years. These names shine like 
stars whose brightness has not yet 
begun to fade 

Thaba Nchu was sometimes shaken 
by severe trials. About the year 1853 
it was in comparative decay. The 
Barolongs and Mantatees had for a 
considerable time kept up a series of 
petty fights, in which few lives were 
lost, but cattle and horses were 
stolen, and the land dropped out of 
cultivation. Old superstitions and 
abominations revived. Such was the 
unrest that the population declined 
from 10,000 to 5,000. Moroka was 
self-willed, and abetted the quarrel with 
the Mantatees. Some of his people 
were in a destitute condition, and in 

danger of dying from starvation. The Rev. D. M. Ludorf, 
who was appointed to Thaba Nchu in 1853, bravely faced the 
situation. He succeeded in reconciling the two tribes ; . he 

22 — 2 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



endeavoured to raise the moral character of the people ; the 
schools which had been closed were re-opened; a new and 
larger church was built ; and drunkenness, which had largely 
increased, was firmly checked. Many of the members of the 
Church drank * boyaloa,' a highly-intoxicating Kafir beer, and 
under its influence relapsed into heathen practices. Mr. Ludorf 
expostulated with the offenders, but in vain. He therefore 
wrote on the class tickets of all who clung to this intemperate 
practice the words, * Monoi oa boyaloa ' (Drinker of strong 
beer). This had the desired effect, and ashamed of the stigma, 
they left off the evil habit. Slowly Thaba Nchu rose to its 
former state of prosperity. 

A branch of the Barolong tribe, which had removed from 
Thaba Nchu, resided at Moshaneng, 
several miles north of the present 
town of Mafeking, and between the 
two widely-separated portions of the 
tribe there was constant passing to 
and fro. A Methodist Church of a 
very simple character had been formed 
at Moshaneng by emigrants from Thaba 
Nchu, and the services were conducted 
by native local preachers. Montsioa, 
the chief, was anxious to have a mis- 
sionary ; but, unfortunately, no one 
could be sent. Mr. Ludorf was in- 
structed to visit them once a year, and 
REV. D. M. LUDORF. stay at least two months, to preach 

and administer the sacraments. The 
distance was more than 300 miles, and involved a journey of 
nearly three weeks' duration. When he passed through Pot- 
chefstroom in 1862, the Boers were in a state of civil war. 
There were four miniature republics, each denouncing the rest 
as traitors. Mr. Ludorf does not appear to have been favour- 
ably impressed by the Dutchmen whom he met. * Because he 
is able to control a number of natives, the Dutch farmer thinks 
himself fit to guide this young State. Each man is a legislator 
that no one wishes to obey. To hear them declaim, one would 
think that each Dopper jacket contained a Machiavel.' 

Mr. Ludorfs journal during his visit to Moshaneng displays 
the versatility of the man. He could be doctor, preacher, 
mechanic, and waggon- mender by turns. Here are a few 
extracts : 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


' Preached in the Khotia, or chief kraal, to a good assembly, and had a 
precious time. 

' Performed an operation on the eye of a councillor. 

' Visited the sick, and prayed with them. 

' Made an ablution of a large tumour on the forehead of another 

' From morning to night occupied with the sick. Performed several 
severe operations. 

' Bound a dozen hymn books in leather. 

• Sewed up the wound of a girl, gored by a cow. 

• Catechumen class ; sixteen prepared for holy baptism. 

• Repaired the wheel of a poor traveller, who could not help himself. 

• Attended many sufferers for sore eyes. 

•About in all parts of the town, preaching without interruption. Our 
gatherings were good.' 

Mr. Ludbrf was a striking examplie of a missionary in those 
days as the general helper of the people amongst whom he 
lived. He thus concludes his account of his visit : * Started 
for home. The chief, Montsioa, accompanied me and Mrs. 
Ludorf for three days on the journey. He thanked us with 
tears for our kindness. On the way shot a lioness, but the 
male escaped. After seventeen days* journey arrived at Thaba 
Nchu. Found all well. God be praised.' 

The distance was too great for such visits to be frequently 
made, and the Moshaneng mission for many years received 
little fostering care. 

In 1865, during the residence of the Rev. James Scott, the 
Anglicans entered Thaba Nchu, and, as though declaring their 
unfriendly rivalry, erected a church and manse close to the 
Wesley an church. 

It may seem strange that the Anglican Episcopal Church 
should thrust itself into a district held by another Christian 
society for forty years. Doubtless Dr. Webb, Bishop of 
Bloemfontein, justified the encroachment by reasons similar to 
those he employed when the French missionaries of Basuto- 
land complained to him of a similar intrusion into their stations : 
* Basutoland is not a Christian country ; your teaching is in- 
complete. The doctrine of the apostolic succession is put 
aside by you, and that of the sacraments enfeebled.' The in- 
trusion of the Anglicans into already-occupied mission fields, 
sanctified by years of holy toil, whilst vast masses of heathens 
in other districts were without Gospel teaching, was certainly 
not an apostolic proceeding. To turn a good Methodist Baro- 
long into an Anglican is a triumph which the Apostles would 
have shunned as un-Christlike. * Yea,' wrote Paul, • so have I 

strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was already 
named, lest I should build on another man's foundation.' 
The Church of England long held an honoured place among 
the Protestant churches for the catholicity of her spirit ; but 
the Anglican Church of South Africa represents only the 
ritualistic section of the Mother Church. It is the church of 
Laud, with its narrowness, not the church of Cranmer, and 
Ridley, and Latimer. 

When the aged chief Moroka died in 1882 he appointed his 
son, Sepinare, his heir and successor, who was an adherent of 
the Methodist Church ; but Samuel, another son, an Anglican, 
who was restless and ambitious, organized a rebellion against 
his brother. Knowing that he would receive little support 
from the Barolongs, he secured the assistance of some Dutch 
farmers with a promise of farms when he attained to power. 
They attacked the house of Sepinare, setting it on fire, and 
when he came forth, shot him dead. To prevent further dis- 
order and bloodshed, Sir John Brand, the President of the 
Free State, called out his burghers, occupied the Barolong 
territory, and annexed it to the Republic. 

The district was divided into farms, of which 15 were granted 
to white persons, 95 to natives, 7 were set apart for locations, 
and 29 were reserved by Government, but subsequently were 
leased. Two farms — Rietpoort and Willows — were given to 
the Wesley an Missionary Society, and one to the Anglican 
Church. Eight thousand morgen were set aside as common- 
age for the township of Thaba Nchu. All natives living on 
farms had the right to remain there during their lifetime, if not 
forfeited by misconduct or voluntary removal. Many of the 
Barolongs left •J:he country and migrated to Bechuanaland, 
where dwelt the other portion of the tribe. The total number 
of the inhabitants in the Thaba Nchu territory was reduced to 
less than 7,000, and the population of Thaba Nchu itself fell 
from 10,000 to 1,200, most of whom were poor. The Mission 
passed through a revolution, and the character of the work 
was completely changed. 

If the Barolongs were to be reached by the Gospel a number 
of native itinerant evangelists would be required to travel from 
farm to farm. The perception of this fact led the Rev. T. 
Chalker, during his residence at Thaba Nchu, to establish the 
Moroka Institute, for the training of native evangelists and 
teachers. Should this succeed, Thaba Nchu may become an 
important educational centre, from which Christian Barolongs 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


may proceed throughout the whole country, and, like WyclifFe's 
field preachers, carry the glad tidings of salvation to their 

An industrial school for boys was opened on one of the 
farms in 1903, but it is proposed, to remove it to Thaba Nchu 
as being more central and convenient. 

As the result of the war with Great Britain the Free State 
lost its independence, and became British territory. It is too 
early to judge what effect the change will have on Mission 
work ; but who that thinks of the history of this Mission and 
of the missionaries who have toiled and suffered on its behalf 
will not pray that, out of the ruins of the old, may rise a new 
and nobler order of things to bless the natives of what is now 
the Orange River Colony ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


WHEN the Dutch Emigrant Farmers left Cape Colony 
in 1836, and began to settle in the extensive plains 
which lie between the Orange and Vaal Rivers, the 
Methodist Barolong Mission had been in existence 
three years. As the Dutch had their own church and pastors 
it was to be expected that, if the Wesleyan missionaries ex- 
tended their labours beyond the borders of Thaba Nchu, they 
would devote their attention to the natives, who were scattered 
over the country. 

Bloemfontein, being the capital, and having a number of 
natives residing on the town location, was the first place to be 
visited. A small congregation was collected, which met for 
public worship in a hut. In 1851 the Rev. Purdon Smailes 
was appointed to Bloemfontein, to care chiefly for this little 
native church. How feeble financially the people were is 
evidenced by the first Circuit account rendered. The total 
annual income was £0.2 iSs. 4d. Among the items of Mr. 
Smailes* expenditure were : postage, £i\ (a letter from England 
in those days was a costly luxury) ; skins, £7^ (carpets were 
rare, and the earthen floors were covered with skins, generally 
of antelopes); twelve oxen, ^"30, and a waggon, probably 
second-hand, £1^] (railways were half a century in the future). 
The deficiency on the year was paid out of the missionary 

Mr. Smailes' residence at Bloemfontein was abruptly ter- 
minated. Three years before, in 1848, Sir Harry Smith had 
proclaimed the country British territory ; but the authority of 
Major Warden, the British Resident, was only nominal out- 
side Bloemfontein. Barolongs and Basutos quarrelled about 
grazing rights, and petty fights were frequent. Major Warden 
marched on Plaatberg with 1,000 men to meet Moshesh, and 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 




demanded 6,000 head of cattle and 300 horses within seven 

days. As they were not delivered, the Major and his men 

advanced from Plaatberg on Viervoet Mountain, but the 

Basutos defeated them with a loss of 

200 men. Plaatberg and the other 

stations had to be vacated, Thaba 

Nchu was deserted, and the Wesleyan 

missionaries removed into Bloemfon- 

tein for protection. After the invasion 

of Basutoland by Sir George Cathcart, 

the disputes as to boundaries were for 

a time settled, and the missionaries 

returned to Plaatberg, Impukani, and 

Imparani. But the British Govern- 
ment, alarmed at the prospect of re- 
peated war with the natives, handed 

the country back to the Dutch, who 

established a Republic. Mr. Smailes 

left for Burghersdorp, and for several 

years the Wesleyan congregation at 

Bloemfontein had to depend upon what pastoral care could be 

furnished from Thaba Nchu. 

In i860 a second attempt was made to occupy Bloemfontein. 
The Rev. T. Cresswell was appointed. 
He left the following year, but was 
succeeded by the Rev. J. G. Morrow, 
and during the ten years of his pas- 
torate Methodism took permanent root. 
Every Sabbath he preached to the 
natives; but he also commenced ser- 
vices in a private house for the English 
residents. A lady — the late Miss Gum- 
ming — gave an erf of ground in the 
centre of the village, and on the corner 
of this plot a Wesleyan school-church 
was erected in the year 1868. The 
Revs. James Scott (afterwards so 
closely identified with Bloemfontein 
Methodism) and G. Vanderwell, of the 

Dutch Reformed Church, conducted the opening services. A 

small native church was also built in the location. In 1871 

Mr. Scott removed from Thaba Nchu to Bloemfontein, and the 
congregation continued to increase. It included adherents of 

Digitized by LjOOQ l€ 



other churches — Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, 
and Lutherans — but Mr. Scott*s catholic spirit and instructive 
ministry won their respect and affection. On December 3, 
1873. t^® foundation stone of the present place of worship, 
called Trinity Church, was laid by Sir John Brand, the Presi- 
dent of the Republic, and the building was opened in July, 
1875, the Rev. James Fish, then at Kimberley, preaching the 
first sermon. 

So little room for expansion was there in the Free State, 
that in 1872 there were only two towns where English congre- 
gations assembled under the care of Wesleyan ministers. 
Bloemfontein was one, Fauresmith was the other. 

Fauresmith, named after the Rev. A Faure, a much -loved 
pastor of the Dutch Church, and Sir Harry Smith, the 
Governor of Cape Colony, was situated in the midst of a 
prosperous sheep-farming district. In 1857 ^^^ ^®v. W. R. 
Longden was appointed, but his health failed, and he left. 
The following year the inhabitants erected a building to hold 
about a hundred and fifty persons, and this they placed at the 
disposal of any minister who might visit the town. Such 
visits were rare, and the desire for more continuous spiritual 
care found expression in an application for the appointment of 
a resident Wesleyan minister. In 1864 the Rev. George Scott 
was sent. He was a diligent student of Scripture, unselfish, 
considerate, and a loving pastor of children ; but he was 
delicate in health, and the work had to be pursued amid un- 
favourable circumstances. Intermittent strife with the Basutos 
was carried on from 1858 to 1868, and heavily taxed the 
energies of the young Republic. In 1867 the murder of a 
trader by the Basutos intensified the war, and every fighting 
man was called out. Trade was paralyzed, and paper money 
was forced into circulation. The minds of the people were 
filled with anxiety, and religious progress was arrested. 
' Matters in general,' wrote Mr. George Scott, * are gloomy 
and depressing. To-day a body of armed men left this town 
for the frontier. Every now and then my health pulls me up. 
The native work especially weighs me down. Just when I 
seem to have got the work organized I have to loose my hand, 
and the stone rolls down hill, and the work has to be gone 
over again.' Mr. Scott, however, kept bravely at his post, 
leaving only when his strength was exhausted, and returning 
when it was partially regained; but in 1871 his health finally 
broke down. By slow stages he went to Bloemfontein, and 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


there in his brother's house he entered into * life immortal 
The Rev. S. B. Cawood resided at Fauresmith from 1871 to 
1874, but after he left no successor could be sent, and the 
work at Fauresmith for the time had to be abandoned. 

The towns in the Free State were small, and not one, ex- 
cepting Bloemfontein, had a thousand inhabitants. At least a 
third of the urban population were natives, dwelling in loca- 
tions, and two-thirds would belong to various nationalities — 
Dutch, German, and English. The latter were representatives 
of several religious denominations, and, often numbering not 
more than from forty to seventy adults, they were too few to 
justify the appointment of a resident pastor. Their spiritual 
needs could only be supplied by a minister travelling from 
town to town, and holding services at intervals. The work 
was thus difficult and laborious. But why trouble about these 
little places ? Because, without reflecting on any other section 
of the Christian Church, the inhabitants needed the ministry 
of the Methodist Church, in its plain doctrines and old- 
fashioned statement, and insistence upon the need of con- 
version ; and in every place were some Wesleyans who would 
have grieved to miss the care of their own pastors. 

Like Fauresmith in the south, Kroonstad in the north was 
situated in the midst of a prosperous sheep-farming district, 
and had its little trading community of various nationalities. 
In his extensive journeys from Potchefstroom the Rev. G. 
Blencowe visited the town, and preached in the office of the 
landdrost. His services were highly appreciated, and secured 
for the Rev. C. Harmon a warm welcome when he arrived 
there the following year, in 1874. One merchant gave a site 
for a church, and another a site for a parsonage, and in a short 
time /900 were promised towards the cost of a church for the. 
English inhabitants, which was completed in 1875. A native 
church, already in existence, was handed over to Mr. Harmon's 
care, and it had an unusual history. A Dutch carrier, whose 
home was in Kroonstad, whilst conveying goods to Potchef- 
stroom, met Magatta, a native Methodist, and through his 
words and prayers became a sincere Christian. Upon his 
return to Kroonstad, remembering that his conversion was due 
under God to * a black man,' he began to preach to the natives 
on the location. He received no encouragement from his 
townsmen, but he held on his way, and under his direction 
the natives bought ground, erected a church, and in this he 
regularly held services for their benefit. When Mr. Harmon 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


arrived the church and congregation were placed in his 

In 1877 Mr. Harmon was succeeded at Kroonstad by the 
Rev. S. B. Cawood, and in 1881 he was followed by the 
Rev. W. Baker, with the Rev. J. Culshaw as assistant. Mr. 
Culshaw had been at Kimberley for two years, but, having 
been stricken down by fever, he was sent to Kroonstad to 
recruit. In one of his monthly visits to Heilbron he attempted 
to cross a swollen drift, and, unfortunately, was drowned. 
About ten miles from Heilbron is the Rhenoster River, with a 
dangerous crossing. About six o'clock in the evening Mr. 
Culshaw was seen by some people to drive down to the stream, 
then swollen by heavy rains. As the current was swift he 
drove back for about half a mile, paused, turned again, and, 
coming back to the river bank, he outspanned. That was the 
last time he was seen aUve. A farmer living beyond the river, 
and who was expecting him, sent some natives to see if he was 
on the road. They returned, saying they had found some 
distance below the drift a spider, and one horse harnessed to 
it, but dead, a whip, and a hat. The farmer called out his 
servants, and acquainted his neighbours, who joined in search- 
ing the river. AH that day and the next they searched, and 
found Mr. Culshaw's body in a deep hole. It is supposed that 
he had inspanned during the night, and attempted to cross the 
swollen torrent, when he was swept down to death. His body 
was taken to Heilbron and buried there. His open-hearted- 
ness, his cheerful disposition, and his earnest godliness, had 
won for him the esteem and love of his people, and his sudden 
death was keenly felt. 

For some years it was a struggle to maintain the work in 
Kroonstad, and in 1877, owing to the depressed state of the 
country, the idea of abandoning the place was mooted. But the 
revival of trade caused by the discovery of the Witwatersrand 
goldfields brought about an improvement. The advent of the 
railway, and the consequent growth of the town, rendered it 
necessary to erect a larger church in the centre of the town ; 
but as the congregation was not then in a position to provide 
the cost, the church was postponed, and a temporary hall was 
built in 1895. 

Heilbron was separated from Kroonstad in 1883, and the 
Rev. Harvey Wilkinson was the first resident minister, 
followed by the Rev. C. Harmon in 1887, the Rev. C. S. 
Franklin in 1889, the Rev. J. K. Derry in 1897, ^^^ ^^^ 

Digitized by VLjOOQIC 




Rev. R. Matterson in 1898. Heilbron gives the visitor an 
impression of prosperity, as though, in the language of 
Trollope, the inhabitants sat down every day to roast mutton 
for dinner. The Wesley an church was 
built in 1882, the parsonage ten years 
later, and both are a standing proof of 
the enterprise and liberality of a small 
community. In later years Frankfort 
and Vrede were offshoots from Heil- 
bron. Frankfort Wesleyan Church is 
one of the prettiest in the country. 
When Mr. Harmon left Heilbron in 
1889 he commenced the * Vaal River 
Mission.* The opening up of the Wit- 
watersrand gold reefs had given a great 
impetus to trade in the adjacent terri- 
tories, and soon speculators and miners 
were busy prospecting for minerals. 
Coal, gold, and diamonds were found 
south of the Vaal River ; Parijs, Vrede- 
fort, and Viljoen's Drift became busy centres, and Mr. Harmon 
endeavoured to provide Wesleyan teaching for the increasing 
population. He was an excellent traveller ; he spoke Dutch 
and Sechuana, as well as his own 
language ; he was a persona grata 
with the Dutch, he was influential with 
the natives, and a faithful preacher. 
He was very successful in these 
northern towns. In 1902 he removed 
to Bloemfontein to assist Mr. Franklin 
in his duties as chaplain to the troops, 
but was suddenly taken ill and died. 
He had been fifty years in the 

When Ficksburg was declared to be 
a ' dorp * or town, the Rev. James Scott 
was applied to for the appointment of a 
Wesleyan minister, but no one could be 
sent. The gap was filled for a time by 
Mr. Barker, a Congregational minister, 
who conducted a day-school during the week, and preached on 
the Sabbath. After his death no one could be obtained to 
supply his place, and the people lapsed into irreligion. Boys 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 





and men spent the Sabbath in all kinds of sport, even indulging 
in horse-racing on the commonage. At the earnest solici- 
tations of a faithful few, Mr. Scott visited the town in 1892. 
After the service a committee was 
formed * to secure a Wesleyan minister 
for Ficksburg and Ladybrand.' It 
was considered that Ficksburg was the 
more suitable place of residence. At 
the close of the meeting the convic- 
tion was expressed that * young and 
old Ficksburg would be better in body, 
soul, and spirit for the step taken.* 
The Municipal Board gave a valuable 
piece of ground for church purposes, 
and when the Rev. Isaac Dugmore 
arrived there was general satisfaction. 
The Good Templars readily granted 
the use of their hall for Sabbath and 
week-day services, but the first two 
years were years of preparation. In 
1894 Mr. Dugmore, having removed to Ladybrand, was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. J. Hill Williams, formerly a probationer 
of the Canadian Methodist Church, and in 1898 a successful 
effort was made to erect a very neat 
church. The new building was opened 
by the Rev. P. Tearle, President of the 
Conference, and the whole town kept 
festival, the stores closing at mid-day 
to enable all to be present. 

According to agreement, the minister 
to Ficksburg spent two weeks in each 
month at Ladybrand ; but in 1894 the 
Wesleyans at Ladybrand considered 
they were able to support a pastor of 
their own. Mr. Dugmore commenced 
the work, and when he left for Thaba 
Nchu he was succeeded by the Rev. A. 
W. Cragg, and Ladybrand Methodism 
commenced an independent career. 

Harrismith, named after Sir Harry Smith, lies in a shallow 
basin near the Drakensberg. It stands on the main trade 
route to Durban, and, Methodistically, it is included in the 
Natal district, but it will be more convenient to detail the few 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


facts of its history here. The Rev. G. Blencowe, when residing 
at Ladysmith, and the Rev. R. Hayes, who succeeded him, 
often came up Van Reenan's Pass to visit this Httle town. In 
1874 the Rev. W. Wynne secured a block of land consisting 
of four dry erven in the centre of the town, and built thereon 
a church and a manse. The town grew, and nine years later 
a larger church was needed. * The zeal of the friends, fully 
shared by their minister, the Rev. A. T. Rhodes, projected 
a scheme for a building which would hold 400 hearers. This 
new church was completed in 1883, and cost ;^3,ooo. It 
stands opposite the old church. One of the most gratifying 
features of this advance was that the old church was handed 
over for the use of the native congregation, and was a great 
contrast to the dark shanty in which they formerly worshipped. 
Harrismith now possesses one of the finest church properties 
in the district, thanks to the foresight of the pastors and the 
liberality of the people.' 

Bethlehem was visited monthly for two years by Mr. Wynne, 
but the first Wesleyan minister appointed to reside there was 
the Rev. R. W. Bryant, who arrived in 1877. The town con- 
tained not more than 250 inhabitants, but they were liberal in 
their gifts. The Dutch had a substantial church and a resi- 
dent pastor ; and Dr. Webb, the Anglican Bishop of Bloem- 
fontein, refusing, as was his practice, to recognise the labours 
of other Churches, sent a clergyman ; so here were three 
ministers and three churches in a town of less than 300 in- 
habitants. At first the Wesleyan services were held in the 
Dutch church, by the kindness of the Kerkraad, and their 
pastor, the Rev. C. P. Theron, who in every way encouraged 
the work. Within two years a stone church was built, funds 
for which were contributed by Dutch as well as English. To 
avoid debt, Mr. Bryant, accompanied by Mr. Rosenzweig, then 
schoolmaster and afterwards landdrost, drove out to various 
farms to secure promises of stock. On one occasion as many 
as seventy sheep and a quantity of turkeys, fowls, etc., were 
secured. The building was opened free of debt. During the 
residence of the Rev. J. G. Wenyon in 1882 the parsonage 
was erected, to which also the Dutch gave generously, for 
they have often shown themselves the liberal helpers of 

Lindley is an offshoot from Bethlehem, and was made a 
separate circuit in 1889. 

In 1883 the Rev. G. A. Rose was appointed to Winburg, 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


with the hope that his health would improve in the drier 
climate of the district, but he died on his way thither at 
Bloemfontein. His place was supplied by the Rev. W. C. 
Burgess, subsequently so well known in Kimberley. The 
work at Winburg was characterized by peace and prosperity. 
In 1885 th® foundation stone of the church was laid by Sir John 
Brand, and it was opened the following year. 

Diamonds were discovered at Jagersfontein, near Faure- 
smith. The stones found were few, as compared with the 
Kimberley mines, but they were of very fine quality. A 
population of about 2,000, European and native, was em- 
ployed in and about the mine, and in 1881 the Rev. C. 
Harmon was appointed to conduct Wesleyan services for their 
benefit. The native church at Fauresmith, once cared for by 
the Rev. George Scott, was still in existence, but was poor 
and dispirited. The effect of the action of the Dutch Govern- 
ment was to keep the natives depressed both mentally and 
financially. The one commendable feature of its rule was 
that it protected them from Cape brandy ; but to have allowed 
them access to intoxicating liquors would have rendered them 
useless as servants. Mr. Harmon held his services at first in 
the courthouse, but a church and a parsonage were built, and 
then the work took a more stable form. A mining population 
fluctuates, and spiritual results are not easily tabulated. 

The war of 1899-1902 disorganized the work of the churches 
throughout the country, especially in the northern towns. At 
Parijs the parsonage was looted and turned into a stable by 
the Dutch, and, subsequently, the EngHsh removed all the 
inhabitants into refugee camps. At Lindley the people were 
escorted to Kroonstad. The native church and English par- 
sonage having been destroyed, the Rev. W. C. Burgess left, 
became chaplain to the British troops, and accompanied them 
on their marches, sharing their privations. At Bethlehem the 
parsonage and native church were plundered by the Dutch, 
and most of the Enghsh inhabitants fled into Basutoland. 
Those who remained were removed by the British troops to 
Harrismith. Frarkfort was deserted, and the Wesleyan 
church was reduced to a ruin; the Rev. C. W. Lister was 
escorted by the Dutch over the border, because in a private 
letter which they opened he had expressed his satisfaction at 
the British victories. At Heilbron the church was turned into 
a hospital, and the Rev. R. and Mrs. Matterson devoted them- 
selves to nursing the British sick and wounded. Kroonstad 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 




was crowded with refugees, and the Rev. Oliver Carey minis- 
tered to both Wesleyan soldiers and civilians for nearly two 

years. At Winburg the Rev. C. Harmon did similar work in 

town and camp, forming a soldiers' 

home, and promoting the comfort of 

the men. At Harrismith the health 

of the Rev. J. M. Watkinson broke 

down, and being compelled to leave 

for England via Delagoa Bay, he was 

arrested and imprisoned at Pretoria as 

a British spy. 

At Bloemfontein most of the English 

congregation left for Cape Colony 

before war actually commenced; but 

on the occupation of the town by the 

British, large military camps were 

formed in the vicinity, and enteric 

fever became a terrible scourge. The 

foul water at Paardeberg, of which the 

soldiers drank, was responsible for the 

outbreak, and for many weeks more than i,8oo men were 

prostrate with fever. There were neither beds nor bedding to 

accommodate so large a number of patients, and for a time 
they lay on the ground, and the 
mortality was heavy. The public 
buildings were turned into hospitals, 
nurses and doctors were sent, and the 
scourge was at last arrested. 

Sometimes on the Sabbath the 
Wesleyan Church was crowded with 
soldiers in their khaki uniforms, 
travel-stained and torn ; and some- 
times the preacher was in khaki, for 
he was the Rev. E. P. Lowry, chap- 
lain to the Wesleyans in the Guards 
Brigade. The Rev. C. S. Franklin 
threw himself zealously into the work of 
ministering to the sick, and was greatly 
assisted by the Revs. E. J. Williams, 

J. K. Derry, and several others. The schoolroom was opened 

as a soldiers' home, and from 200 to 600 men were daily 

supplied with refreshments. 

With the termination of the war the restrictions as. to resi- 

Digitized by LjfBOQlC 




dence were removed, the refugee camps were broken up, and 
the people returned to their homes in the various townships^ 
or what was left of them. Notwithstanding their heavy losses, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


they began with surprising cheerfulness to repair the ravages 
made by war. Houses were rebuilt, churches were restored, 
and in a short time there was a prospect of the return of 

At Kroonstad a handsome Gothic church has been erected 
in a commanding position, being situated on a corner site in 
the principal street, and having a spire rising to the height of 
80 feet. 

Bloemfontein rapidly increased in size after the war, and 
Methodism shared in the expansion. Trinity Church was too 
small for the congregation, and a second Wesley an church 
was erected at the east end of the town amongst an artisan 

As the Government required the site on which the Wesleyan 
native church stood for educational purposes, it erected another 
church elsewhere for the natives on ground generously given 
by the Town Council. 

In the majority of the towns of the Orange River Colony 
Methodism is the only representative of English Noncon- 
formity. Its pliant, connexional system furnishes facilities for 
meeting the spiritual needs of small and scattered communi- 
ties. The dominant Church is the Dutch Reformed, which is 
zealous for the language and nationality of its adherents, and 
is often semi-political. In many of the chief towns are 
Anglican Episcopal churches. These two religious bodies 
stand widely apart as to doctrine and form of worship, but 
both obscure — the former by its formalism, the latter by its 
ecclesiasticism — the important truth, that the essential con- 
dition of Christian life is not confirmation or baptism, but 
a spiritual change of heart : * Ye must be born anew.' It is a 
complete inward change, of which the Divine Spirit is the 
agent, and the Divine Word the means. The Lord comes to 
the soul that waits for Him ; He takes away not only the 
guilt and thraldom of sin, but its deep, polluting stain ; He 
opens up in the heart a spring of purity and gladness. * Now 
I know, I know !' exclaimed John Bunyan ; * I can scarcely lie 
in my bed for joy and peace and triumph through Christ.* 

This was the glad message John Wesley carried to the 
people of England in the eighteenth century. Before his day 
conversion was almost a lost word. He respoke it; he set 
forth that the soul could be delivered from sin through faith 
in Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Take that 

Digitized ^-kjQOQlC 


message away, and what was left ? As Dr. Fairbairn says : 
* You have Walpole sitting in the House of Commons, looking 
round and saying, " Every man here has his price." You 
have David Hume coming into England like a blight, saying 
wherever he went, ** God is but a creed ; seize Him you 
cannot. All you get hold of is a passing sensation." ' Con- 
version, as taught by John Wesley, saved England from 
scepticism and political corruption. And it is that message 
Methodism has still to deliver, not least in the Orange River 
Colony. The complaint is occasionally heard that the spiritual 
life of many professing Christians is unsatisfactory, and that 
even officials of the Church are unsympathetic and worldly ; 
but the reason is that they have never been converted. The 
preacher may hold up before his hearers the charms of a lofty 
morality, but if he fail to enforce the necessity and blessedness 
of conversion, he will engage in a futile endeavour to grow 
fruit on trees that have no root. Only as men and women are 
cleansed from sin, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, will they 
have a passion for righteousness, for true comradeship, for 
devotion to Christ, which alone can leaven society and pre- 
pare it for the coming of the Kingdom of God. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


WHEN the Rev. W. Shaw planned his * chain of 
mission stations' it was his intention to include 
Natal. If he could have had his way, Wesleyan 
missionaries would have been the first to preach 
the Gospel to the fierce Zulus. In the stations for 1829, as 
given in the Minutes of the Conference, appeared, * Tshaka's 
tribe, Port Natal. One to be appointed.* In 1830 the entry 
stands : * Robert Snowdall. Another is requested.' Mr. 
Snowdall died early in the following year at Grahamstown. 
Another name appeared in 1 83 1 : * Tshaka's tribe, William 
Satchell.' But Mr. Satchell went to Pondoland, so it may be 
presumed that the way was not open to Natal. For twelve 
years, though no minister could be sent, the entry of Tshaka's 
tribe was made in the British Minutes of Conference. It was 
the hoisting of the flag which proclaimed that the land 
conquered by the Zulus was about to be seized for Christ. 
The actual occupation was not accomplished until twelve 
years later, in the year 1842. 

In those twelve years many important events happened. 
English traders had already settled at the Bay, and held com- 
munication with Tshaka, and afterwards with his son and 
successor, Dingaan. The Dutch emigrant farmers, through 
the defiles of the Drakensberg, entered the *fair meadow of 
Natal,' hoping to find in it a home, and they settled in the 
valleys of the Tugela and Bushman Rivers. Seventy of their 
number were treacherously murdered by Dingaan at his kraal, 
and probably over five hundred more, including coloured 
servants, were slain in the encampments at the rivers by the 
Zulu impis. The Dutch, rallying their forces, and strengthened 

* For this and the two following chapters I am largely indebted to a 
series of papers written by the Rev. F. Mason for the .South African 

357 Digitized by LnOOgle 


by fresh arrivals from Cape Colony, took, ten months later, 
their revenge on Dingaan at Blood River. The defeated Zulu 
chief fled northward, fell into the hands of the Swazis, and by 
them was put to death. The Dutch, with due formalities, 
proclaimed * The Republic of Natalia,* and laid out Maritzburg. 
But at an early date they began to harass the natives on the 
southern border, and Faku, the Pondo chief, appealed to the 
Rev. W. Shaw, and Mr. Shaw appealed to the Governor of 
Cape Colony for protection. Sir George Napier stationed a 
small British force with Faku, and subsequently ordered 
Captain Smith, with 250 men, to march from Faku's country 
into Natal and occupy Durban. This was done, and the 
Rev. James Archbell, with his wife and family, 'accompanied 
the troops, and was the first Wesleyan minister to settle in 
Natal. This was in 1842. 

The Dutch burghers took possession of the village, and 
besieged the British camp. Mr. Archbell and his family had 
to endure the privations of the siege, when a soldier had at 
last to live on a few ounces of horseflesh and a handful of rice 
dust a day. The troops would have been forced to surrender but 
for the daring ride of Richard King, who in ten days rode the 
whole length of KafFraria and took the news to Graham stown, 
600 miles distant. Strong reinforcements were sent to the 
relief of Captain Smith and his men from Cape Town and Port 
Elizabeth. The Dutch farmers gave up the struggle, and many 
of them retreated over the Drakensberg, and helped to found 
tho Orange Free State and the South African Republic. 

Mr. Archbell soon erected a wattled building, with a verandah 
all round, a thatched roof without any ceiling, and an earthen 
floor. This was the first place of worship in Natal, with the 
exception of a plain stone structure built by the Dutch at 
Maritzburg, and used by them for years, until their new 
church was completed. A mission house was also built, and 
was composed of wattles plastered with mud and of unburnt 
bricks, fairly well put together, with thatched roof and 

In 1846 the mission was strengthened by the arrival of the 
Revs. W. J. Davis and J. Richards. Mr. Davis remained in 
the Bay, and Mr. Richards proceeded to Maritzburg, where, 
after a time, a little thatch-covered church was completed. 
Mr. Archbell also at a later date removed to Maritzburg. In 
1847 the Rev. W. C. Holden joined the mission at Durban, 
and Mr. Dayis moved up to the Zwaartkop location. Mr. 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Holden gives a somewhat humorous account of his experiences 
in the primitive mission house. Snakes and rats made a 
carnival of the place, and nightly hunts went on between the 
canvas ceilings and the roof. *As soon as the darkness of 
evening came on the rats began to scamper about on the calico 
ceiling, whilst the snakes pursued them with great swiftness 
and seized their prey ; a squeak was heard, and then all was 
quiet.* Mr. Holden frequently killed snakes both inside and 
outside his house. 

Durban was yet but a quiet, unpretentious village, consisting 
of a few thatched cottages embowered amongst exuberant 
vegetation. The streets were hardly defined, and the paths 
wound amongst the grass and thickets, which were haunted 
by pythons and various kinds of deadly serpents. The coast 
lands were covered by tall, luxuriant grass, the home of 
numerous wild animals and richly-plumaged birds. 

Mr. Holden, whilst attending to the spiritual needs of the 
European population, devoted much of his time to the natives. 
Within fifteen miles of Durban were thousands of Kafirs, the 
whole of whom were in a state of barbarism. They were all 
in nature's undress, with the exception of a few tails of wild 
animals hanging from the loins, and revelled in all the abomi- 
nations of heathenism. Mr. Holden was appalled at their 
condition, and, procuring an interpreter, a converted Fingo, he 
rode round to the kraals, and held services in the open air. 
The natives assembled. Of dress they had none, of ornaments 
a great profusion. The men had their heads adorned with the 
richly-coloured feathers of African birds, and on their necks 
strings of teeth of wolves, panthers, and wild dogs. The 
women wore necklaces and bracelets of beads, and brass rings 
on the right arm from wrist to elbow. Mr. Holden preached 
no regular sermon, but stated in the "simplest language two or 
three Scriptural truths, on which he questioned his hearers the 
following Sabbath, to see how much they remembered. It 
was * line upon line, here a little, and there a little.* At the end 
of a year some of the natives began to pray and seek God. 
On May 4, 1848, Mr. Holden wrote : * Last Sabbath I began 
the first Kafir Class Meeting in Port Natal. Eight persons 
attended : one elderly man, six young men, from twenty to 
twenty-five years old, and one boy about fifteen years old. 
Two were clothed, three partly clothed, and three naked. We 
met out of doors at the back of a friend's house. Two came 
a distance of fourteen miles, one six miles, and the others live 

Jigitized by VjOOQIC 


in the place.' Seldom has a class meeting been held in more 
unfavourable circumstances. 

Among the converts was an old warrior, Abantwana, uncle 
to the great chief Tshaka. He had been next to him in 
command, and was sitting by his side when Tshaka was 
assassinated by his son Dingaan, He had slaughtered many 
human beings, whilst he had never quailed before a host of 
infuriated men ; but now he was smitten down by the Holy 
Spirit, and was in great distress on account of his sins. He 
spent hours alone in the bush in prayer, and whilst thus 
engaged Christ was revealed to him as his Saviour, and he 
was made happy in the love of God. He was baptized by 
Mr. Holden, and the Zulu chiefs youngest son and daughter 
were baptized at the same time. For five years this work 
was continued, and many were won to Christ. There are few 
chapters in mission history more interesting than Mr. Holden's 
account of * conversion work among the Kafirs.' 

In 1850 a new and far superior church was erected in Aliwal 
Street, Durban. The foundation stone was laid by Mr. G. C. 
Cato, and it was completed on May 13, 1850. It was the first 
building of the kind in the village, and before the experiment 
was tried the promoters of the scheme were afraid that as the 
foundation rested upon sand, the structure might fall ; but all 
such apprehensions proved needless. Mr. Holden describes it 
as a * neat, substantial brick building, and as chaste as any I 
have seen of the kind, either in Africa or England. It is 
50 feet long, and 20 feet wide inside.* The opening services 
were conducted by Mr. Holden, the Rev. D. Lindley, of the 
American Board of Missions, and the Rev. H. Pearse. The 
old chapel was handed to the natives, who hitherto had been 
compelled to worship in the open air. 

Both at Durban and at Maritzburg the Wesleyan church 
was the only one for English-speaking civilians. Members of 
all denominations attended the services, and were admitted to 
the Lord's Table. Of this period Mr. Richards at Maritzburg 
wrote : * I have Governor, Secretary, Judge, Surveyor- General, 
and Captains in my congregation, so that I am in reality 
Court Preacher. However, I pursue my course in endeavour- 
ing to apply evangelical truth to my hearers for their edification, 
and thankful shall I be if I can but secure the approbation of 
my Lord.* In process of time Episcopalians, Presbyterians, 
and Congregationalists were so strengthened by immigration 
that they were able to form churches of their own. When 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


they did so, Methodism rejoiced in seeing her foster-children 
establishing spiritual homes for themselves, and maintained on 
its side the * unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.* 

Between 1849 and 1851 several thousand British emigrants 
arrived, and their advent was followed by momentous results. 
Many of them were from the North of England, chiefly York- 
shire ; some came from London and the South, some from the 
Midlands. Not a few of them were devoted Methodists, local 
preachers and class leaders ; and even when living in tents 
they held services on the Sabbath. There can be no doubt 
that the present position of Methodism in Natal is mainly due 
under God to the zeal and loyalty of these men. At Durban, 
Verulam, Maritzburiq:, York, and elsewhere, they set up or 
rallied round the old standard, and in a few years had changed 
to a large extent the religious prospects of the country. 

At Verulam the first Wesleyan service was a prayer meet- 
ing, held on the first Sabbath evening after the settlers had 
arrived, in a marquee given by the Earl of Verulam. The 
whole population assembled. On the following Sunday, in 
the same place, Mr. William Todd, a Northumbrian, preached 
the first sermon on the words, * Which things the angels desire 
to look into'; and he and Mr. Garland and Mr. Champion for 
many years preached the Gospel to the dwellers about the 
Umgeni, journeying sometimes as far as Kearsney. A small 
church made of poles and clay walls was erected at Verulam, 
and Mr. Holden, who had been instrumental in choosing the 
site for the settlement, conducted the dedicatory service. 
Fifty years later, in 1900, Mr. Todd, nearly eighty years of 
age, but hale and vigorous, preached the sermon at the 

iubilee. The Wesleyan ministers at Durban and Maritz- 
urg, the Revs. W. C. Holden, H. Pearse, C. Spensley, 
J. Gaskin, F. Mason, G. Blencowe, J. Jackson, and others, 
were men of untiring zeal and noble enterprise. They visited 
and encouraged the new-comers, giving them wise counsel in 
things temporal and spiritual. They often rode from twenty 
to a hundred miles to preach the Gospel to the widely scattered 
settlers in villages, hamlets, and on farms. Services were held 
at York, Greytown, Riet Vlei, Caversham, Mooi River, Lady- 
smith, Newcastle, Wakkerstroom, besides many nearer places. 
Congregations were small, but some of the hearers travelled 
ten or a dozen miles to join in the worship of God, and the 
preacher was always sure of a cordial welcome. This may be 
looked upon as the formative period of Methodism in Natal, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


and, indeed, in the Colony itself. All honour to the brave men 
who upheld the banner in times of difficulty, and made the 
battle easier for their successors to win. 

In the year 1847 the Rev. James Allison came into Natal 
with a party of refugees from Swaziland. At Mahamba, in 
that country, he had established a mission, which was full of 
promise. Thirteen hundred natives assembled for worship on 
the Sabbath. Umswazi, the great chief, offended several of 
his sub-chiefs, and they, with their followers, removed and 
settled near the mission station. Mr. Allison endeavoured to 
reconcile the parties, but failed. The sub-chiefs were obstinate, 
and refused to acknowledge the authority of their suzerain. 
The consequence was that Umswazi 
organized an attack upon them, and 
was assisted by a number of Boers, 
who doubtless hoped to get loot, either 
in the shape of cattle or land. The 
commando arrived at Mahamba on 
the Sabbath just as the bell was ring- 
ing for worship. On its approach all 
the people in the neighbourhood fled 
to the station, and fifty natives were 
shot down and killed in the presence 
of the missionary, whose attempts to 
arrest the slaughter were unavailing. 
Mr. Allison and his family were not 
molested, but he found it necessary to 
REV. J. ALLISON. leavc the station wlth those who wished 

to accompany him. 
The fugitives settled at Indaleni, in Natal, on land granted 
by the Government. Mr. Allison had with him a fine body of 
native men, most of whom were recent converts from heathen- 
ism. He taught them how to use plough and spade, hammer 
and saw, and trowel. More than that, he taught them how to 
preach Christ with great zeal and power to their fellow-men. 
Some of the finest characters, some of the best workers, who 
have yet risen amongst native South Africans were in the ranks 
of these refugees. One of them, Daniel Msimang, became an 
ordained minister, and, thirty-five years later, was sent to re- 
occupy the station from which they had fled, and Mahamba 
again appeared as a Mission. Who would have thought when 
it was abandoned that it would be again occupied, and that the 
first missionary sent to it to recommence the work there would 

• Digitized by LnOOQlC 


be one of the men who left it with Mr. Allison ? We ought 
surely to find in such a fact strong ground for encouragement 
in the hour of disappointment and seeming defeat. Another 
refugee was Nathaniel Matebule, who also became a minister. 

Not long after Mr. Allison's arrival in Natal circumstances 
arose which led to his withdrawal from the Mission. It is un- 
necessary to go into details. He was a man of strong will, 
impulsive, full of capacity and energy, impatient of restraint. 
The times were troublous. Methodism in England was being 
torn by the fiercest agitation it has ever known, and some of 
the waves of conflict were borne, though feebly, to these distant 
shores. Somehow, Mr. Allison was misled into the belief that 
the party of change was in the ascendant, and would gain the 
victory. Certain circumstances had led him to think that he 
was an ill-used man. Possibly there was, on the other side, a 
lack of perfect patience and tact. So he left Indaleni, and, 
accompanied by the majority of the people, established an 
independent Mission at Edendale. Ten years afterwards the 
breach, except in some of its merely personal aspects, was 
happily healed. Edendale, which has grown into a large and 
prosperous station, was transferred to the Wesleyan Missionary 
Society in 1861, by the consent of all concerned, and by the 
earnest desire of most. Mr. Allison was never again united 
with the church of his early choice, but a friendly feeling 
gradually arose on both sides. His body, with that of his 
wife, now reposes in the Wesleyan Cemetery, Maritzburg, in 
the plot reserved for ministers and their families. All the 
differences and strifes to which reference has now been made 
lie buried in that grave, and they will rise no more. 

In June, 1856, a remarkable revival of religion began in 
Maritzburg, and continued for several months. The Revs. 
H. Pearse and F. Mason were the resident ministers. The 
revival affected both younger and older people about equally. 
The work was singularly calm and deep. The more modern 
plan of an inquiry room had not yet come into use; peni- 
tent seekers of salvation knelt at the communion rail, where 
local preachers, class leaders, and others, gave counsel to the 
inquirers, and rejoiced over them with great joy. Two 
young men who then gave themselves fully to the service of 
God afterwards entered the ministry. One of them, the 
Rev. J. Jackson, junior, became a most effective preacher in 
English and Kafir, wrote several books in Zulu, and, after a 
brief and honourable career, entered into rest. The other, the 

.digitized by VjOOQIC 


Rev. William Shaw Davis, became well known as an able 
Kafir scholar and Missionary Superintendent. In Maritzburg 
the English membership was doubled. A few native and 
coloured people were added to the church, but their Pentecost 
was to come later. Nor did the work spread manifestly to 
other places. Commercial discouragement and religious apathy 
were widely prevalent. Still, an impulse was given which was 
never lost, and which produced good results in the following 

An era of church building now commenced. The Maritz- 
burg English congregation had outgrown the little, old-fashioned 
structure which had been erected in 1848. This was about 
50 feet long by 26 feet wide. It had a hip-roof, covered with 
thatch. A tiny organ gallery had been placed over the door ; 
a new front had been added, surmounted at the corners by 
enormous blocks of freestone, curiously, if not handsomely, 
wrought. The whole appearance of the building was so un- 
usual that it was said to belong to the Roman-Dutch order of 
architecture. But it was a grand old place for all that, for the 
associations connected with it and for the work done in it. 
The present comely schoolroom, much lengthened, with its 
suite of class-rooms, does but faintly remind one of the * old 
chapel,* as it was for long affectionately called. The site, which 
had been given by Government, is a very fine one, being situated 
in the centre of the town, and has frontages to three streets. 

In August, 1856, a meeting was called to consider the 
question of enlargement. Opinion was unanimous, or nearly 
so, against this plan. Everybody wanted a new church suited 
to the needs of the time. One gentleman rose and declared 
that he would not give anything towards the old building ; but 
if it were decided to erect a new one, he would give .^25. The 
reader may smile, but the sum was large in those days— it was 
more in proportion than ^"500 would be to many now. In 
fact, the largest contributions were three subscriptions of /'50 
each, and noble gifts they were, considering the means of the 
givers. Many delays occurred, and it was not till July, 1857, 
that the foundation stone was laid by Mrs. Pearse. To obtain 
help towards the erection, the Rev. H. Pearse went on a 
collecting tour in the Eastern Province, and raised a sum of 
nearly /'650, generously contributed by the people of Albany 
and of other parts. Of this amount over £^0 was given by 
natives. The opening services were held in March, 1859. The 
church is built in Grecian style : it is not handsome, but is 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



massive, with four large stone pillars in front ; it is roomy, 
commodious, and durable. A gallery opposite the pulpit was 
added in 1863. From the date of its erection Methodism took 
a leading place amongst the churches in Maritzburg, and has 
never since lost it. 

Meanwhile Durban was bestirring itself in the same direc- 
tion. The old chapel in Aliwal Street, which had been enlarged 
by the addition of a wing at one end, had become too small, 
and was anything but commodious. Population and trade 
were moving towards the west end of the town, and it was very 
desirable to secure a more central site. A piece of ground was 
purchased in West Street, subsequently added to by another 
purchase ; and it still remains one of the finest positions that 
could be found. Here the foundation 
stone was laid by the Rev. Thomas 
Jenkins in March, 1857. It was an 
honour worthily conferred on the 
veteran missionary. The building 
was in the Gothic style, pretty in 
appearance, but too light in construc- 
tion. The Rev. Calvert Spensley de- 
voted himself to this enterprise with 
an ardour beyond his strength. It 
was to be his last service to Metho- 
dism in Natal before his return, in 
shattered health, to England. He was 
architect, superintendent of works, col- 
lector of subscriptions, inspirer and 
director of the whole undertaking. 
The church was dedicated in January, 
1858. It was the scene of many memorable occurrences of a 
spiritual kind, until it gave place, twenty years later, to the 
present large and imposing structure, in which have been held 
the most notable religious gatherings, both denominational and 
general, which have ever taken place in Natal 

In 1 861 Methodism in Natal was strengthened by the 
arrival of several missionaries from England : the Revs. John 
AUsopp, James Langley, William H. Millward, Daniel Eva, 
and Charles Roberts. Edendale and Verulam were each 
supplied with an additional minister, and new stations were 

The natives of Natal numbered probably 200,000, and were 
tall, muscular, and intelligent, but they lacked incentive to 

Digitized by VjiOOQl€ 



work. Their food was easily obtained, their wants were few, 
and they were satisfied with an indolent life in their locations. 
The sugar-planters along the coast were therefore compelled 
to import coolies (labourers) from India in considerable num- 
bers. They came from Bombay, Bengal, and the valley of 
the Ganges. Most of them were Hindus, and a few were 
Mohammedans. After their term of service had expired many 
of them remained in Natal. Some bought land, and gained a 
livelihood as gardeners ; others became cooks, waiters, and 
general servants. But whatever their career, it was of supreme 
importance that they should be brought into touch with the 
Gospel, lest their presence should become a moral danger. In 
1862 the Rev. Ralph Stott arrived to commence the * Indian 
Mission.' He had been eighteen years 
in Ceylon, where he had reclaimed 
hundreds of wild Veddahs from their 
savage life in the jungle, and could 
preach fluently in Tamil and Hindu- 
stani. He had that rare tact which 
enables its possessor to make friends 
amongst all classes ; and planters and 
coolies, ministers and people, alike wel- 
comed him. The area of his labours 
was a belt of coastland extending from 
Isipingo, twelve miles south, to Kears- 
ney, fifty miles north of Durban, and 
within this area was an Indian popu- 
lation of about 30,000 people. For 
REV. R. STOTT. eighteen years he toiled on, never 

doubting, never faltering, under condi- 
tions which most men would have found utterly discouraging. 
The cheerful optimism with which he relates some of his 
journeys is amazing. * I had to cross a river,' he wrote, * deep 
and full of quicksands, and got a dipping. When I reached the 
bank I pulled off my shoes and stockings. My stockings I wrung 
and tied on my saddle to dry, and, after pouring the water out 
of my shoes, I put them on again. On my return I crossed five 
rivers, and it rained the whole day, and I, and doubtless my 
horse, thought that was sufficient, considering the roads. I 
reached home in safety. I believe such journeys are a great 
blessing, and I derive as much good from them as many people 
in England do from going to a watering-place. I get a change 
of food, water, air, and relaxation from ordinary studies.* 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


The success of the Mission was small, if it is to be judged 
by numerical returns only. Assistants who could speak 
Tamil or Hindustani were not easily obtained; and the 
opposition of the coolies to Christianity was vigilant. Wor- 
shipping, as they did, gods whom their books spoke of as 
guilty of lying, thieving, and fornication, it could not be 
expected that their morals would be otherwise. Nor did they 
desire any reformation. They would not travel even a short 
distance to hear the Gospel, and they had to be visited from 
house to house. Thus the work for one minister was tedious, 
and yielded few results. Some, however, were won to Christ, 
and returning to India, held fast their Christian profession ; and 
others, who remained in Natal, joined the Methodist Church, 
and honourably kept the faith. 

Under the charter given to the colony in 1856 there was 
a sum of ;^5,ooo per annum reserved for native purposes, and 
placed at the disposal of the Governor. The question arose 
how this money was to be spent. It was at length de- 
cided that grants-in-aid should be given to mission schools 
belonging to various denominations, and that industrial 
institutions especially should be encouraged. The Natal 
Synod resolved to establish three of these institutions — one 
at Edendale, one at Indaleni, and one at Verulam. These 
institutions were started with praiseworthy energy. Some of 
the boys learnt how to use tools, and to do certain kinds of 
mechanical work, and the result was as satisfactory as one 
could reasonably expect, considering the newness of the ex- 
periment, and the inaptitude of the native for mechanical arts. 
But after a few years they were given up one after another, 
Edendale surviving longest. The mistake was in having 
three institutions. In so small a district it was not likely 
that three men could be found with the peculiar qualifications 
needed for taking charge of them, nor was the number of 
available pupils at that time sufficient. There ought to have 
been one institution in a central place, well-manned and 
equipped. But the experience of failure was not lost. 

Ladysmith, which had previously been visited from Maritz- 
burg, 100 miles distant, was made a circuit in 1866, under the 
care of the Rev. G. Blencowe. At first he held services in 
the Court House, but after he had built a house, to some ex- 
tent with his own hands, he held services in his dining-room. 
There were at the time very few families in the town that were 
Wesleyans even in name. Mr. Blencowe, however, made Lady- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


smith the centre, from which he made long journeys through 
the Biggarsberg and Newcastle districts, visiting Dutch and 
English farmers, and holding services as occasion offered. He 
crossed the Buffalo into the Transvaal, visiting Utrecht and 
Wakkerstroom, and penetrated the country right up to 
Potchefstroom and Pretoria. He visited Colenso to the 
south, and travelled into the Free State as far as Harrismith 
and Kroonstad. His labours were little short of herculean. 
He was a keen observer, and as early as 1 868 he expressed 
his confidence in Natal as a coalfield. *The coalfield,' he 
wrote, * is about loo miles square. In a field of such extent 
there are coals of great variety. Some are poor, as the coals 
of India ; but others are much better, burn clear, and throw 
out great heat. If the coal is worked 
the population will increase, and this 
circuit will become half a dozen.' 

From Lady smith Mr. Blencowe re- 
moved to the Transvaal, taking charge 
of what was called the * Transvaal 
Mission.' From 1877 to 1882 he was 
in England, where he wrote * The 
Sabbath Divine and Regal ' and 
* Christian Positivism ' ; but at the end 
of 1882 he returned to South Africa, 
and resided chiefly at Wakkerstroom. 
He died at Maritzburg in 1893. Both 
Natal and Transvaal Methodism owe 
much to the untiring labours and 
REV. A. p. CHAPLIN. the statesmauHke policy of Mr. Blen- 
Mr. Blencowe was followed at Ladysmith in 1873 by the 
Rev. R. Hayes. The circuit was still a wide one, and included 
Dundee, Estcourt, Colenso, and Harrismith. Four years later, 
in 1877, he was succeeded by the Rev. A. P. Chaplin, and 
circumstances being more favourable, the circuit entered upon 
an active career. The European farmers had increased in 
numbers and wealth, trade had developed, and the native work 
was expanding. At Ladysmith there was still no Wesleyan 
place of worship, and services were held in the Dutch church 
on Sabbath evenings; but in 1881 Mr. Chaplin succeeded in 
erecting a church, and the Rev. F. Mason came from Maritz- 
burg to preach the opening sermons. The population duiing 
the Zulu War rapidly increased, and the new building was 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


often well filled. Then came an outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit, and a tide of prosperity set in ; the congregation 
increased, and the members were * strengthened in the 

About the year 1865 a migration commenced from Eden- 
dale, which led to a wonderful extension of Christianity 
amongst the natives in the north of Natal. The principal 
men at Edendale had for some time felt that the land on that 
station was too small for their support, and as good and cheap 
land was to be obtained in the Klip River county, they seized 
the opportunity and bought. By the advice of the Rev. G. 
Blencowe they purchased the farm * Driefontein,' about 
8,000 acres in extent. The following year they bought the 
adjoining farm, * Kleinfontein,' and, subsequently, they secured 
a third farm, * Dornhoek.' This block of farms comprised 
22,000 acres, arable and pasture lands, well watered, and cost 
about ;^5,ooo. This sum the natives raised and paid by them- 
selves. In the title deeds a clause was inserted which guarded 
them against the alienation by any of their number or their 
heirs of any portion of the property to Europeans. This pro- 
tected them from land speculators. Another clause provided 
that if any proprietor became a polygamist he forfeited his 
share, and could only claim the amount of money he had paid. 
The farms were situated on the Klip River, about twelve miles 
north of Ladysmith. A continuous ridge of low kopjes runs 
right through the farms three miles in length, and along the 
foot of this ridge the natives built their houses, a little dis- 
tance apart, devoting the land in front to agriculture, and the 
land behind the ridge for pasturing their cattle. Most of the 
houses were well built, each with iron roof and verandah, 
garden attached, and plantation of trees. Dornhoek was kept 
as a cattle run. 

The leaders in this movement were a fine lot of men. 
Nathaniel Matebule, a Swazi, who during his residence at 
Indaleni became a house builder, and after eight years* resi- 
dence at Driefontein threw up an income of ;^25o a year to do 
the work of a Methodist missionary on a pittance barely suffi- 
cient to provide the necessaries of life ; Daniel Msimang, who 
fled from Mahamba with the Rev. J. Allison, and thirty-five 
years later returned thither to preach the Gospel to the 
Swazis ; Elijah Kambule, who was considered by the Shep- 
stone family the finest native in Natal, and was often em- 
ployed by Sir Theophilus Shepstone in negotiations with 

Digitized by LnC^QlC 


native chiefs; Timothy Gule, remarkable for his straight- 
forwardness ; Johannes Kumalo, a grand old man ; Job Kam- 
bule, the headman ; I^uke Msimang, day-school teacher, and 
subsequently a minister of the Gospel — these and many others 
were not only industrious and shrewd, but all of them were 
earnest Christians. The Rev. R. Hayes, of Ladysmith, took 
the pastoral oversight of the new settlement, and held services 
for their benefit, but these only quickened their sympathies for 
the heathen around them. The Edendale men were deter- 
mined if possible to plant the Christianity which had elevated 
them in the new parts of the country in which they were 
placed. Daniel Msimang would go to the mission house in 
Ladysmith on horseback, leading a horse, and would say to 
Mr. Hayes in his own language, * Let us go, minister, and 
preach to the heathen ' ; and they would go for three or four 
days at a time, living on such food as is found at Kafir kraals. 
Daniel and his native companions visited all parts of the dis- 
trict, preaching the Gospel with great success. The whole 
country for miles round, and even as far as Zululand, heard 
the Word of God. Congregations, classes, and societies were 
formed at native kraals, and the foundations laid of a work 
which has been growing ever since. 

The Christian work at Driefontein could not be hid. 
Heathen people from far and near came to see and hear for 
themselves. A number came from Jonono's Kop, a heathen 
location about twelve miles north-east of Driefontein, and, 
deeply impressed, they carried back to their own people the 
message of salvation. The native local preachers followed up 
the visit, and many conversions followed. Practically the 
whole of the community which lived in the village built on 
the side of the mountain came over to Christianity. When 
Mr. Hayes and Daniel Msimang visited Jonono's Kop, and 
were met by all the men, women, and children, cleansed from 
all signs of heathenism, and dressed as Europeans, DaniePs 
joy was so great that he burst into tears. On their return to 
Ladysmith Daniel bought print and other things, which were 
cut into frocks by a friend, and made up by his own family. 
These articles he took with him to Jonono's Kop on the 
occasion of his next visit. The first agent of the Unzonde- 
lelo, Eliam Msimang, was located at Jonono's Kop, and in 
1882 he was accepted as a native minister. In the same year 
the place was formed into a Circuit, it. having become the 
centre of a new and wide area of Christian work. By 1883 a 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



good stone-built church and a comfortable native minister's 
house were completed. 

When Mr. Chaplin succeeded Mr. Hayes at Ladysmith 
in 1877 he took charge of the Mission. In 1885 Driefontein 
was made the head of a Circuit, and was still under the care 
of Mr. Chaplin, who went to reside there to superintend the 
native work. The field of operations was enlarged, and the 
Gospel was carried to other settlements. 

Some of the natives from Edendale and other places pur- 
chased from the Government land at Telapi, one of the large 
mountains in the Biggarsberg range, about twenty-eight miles 
north of Ladysmith. They differed greatly from the Drie- 
fontein men, and not a few had prac- 
tically abandoned the Christian pro- 
fession. However, native local 
preachers from Driefontein visited 
them, and in spite of much opposition 
held services in their midst. A great 
religious awakening followed, and 
many of the people were converted. 
A church was built, and a native 
minister was appointed. About the 
year 1891 the farm at Telapi was sold 
to a Roman Catholic Mission, and 
with the proceeds of the sale the 
natives bought other ground nearer 
to Dundee and removed there. They 
were then included in the Dundee 
native circuit. 

In 1 881 a native boy from Ezingekeni came to Driefontein, 
and was converted to Christ. His family and friends were all 
heathen, but he returned home firmly resolved to win them 
over to the Lord Jesus. His efforts were successful beyond 
expectation. Not only his relations, but many of the neigh- 
bours, became sincere Christians. The native youth was bap- 
tized, and received the name of Simon. He developed into a 
powerful preacher in his own language, his addresses being 
simple but practical, glowing with Scriptural light, and at- 
tended with Divine ipower. Ezingekeni was taken in as part 
of the Telapi Circuit, and rapidly grew into an important centre 
of mission work. Subsequently, during the pastorate of the 
Rev. J. Metcalf, a farm — * Quick Vlei' — was purchased in the 
name of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and the whoJ^e^of 

24 — 2 



this section was constituted into a separate Circuit, and 
received the name of * Evansdale.* 

Another Edendale native, Timothy Gule, left Driefontein 
and settled on a piece of land close to the Buffalo River, and 
he and his friends invited Mr. Chaplin to visit the neighbour- 
hood with a view to commencing Methodist services. His 
first visit was in 1883. A large number of natives were soon 
gathered as adherents, buildings for worship and schools were 
erected, and an evangelist was appointed, who resided at 
Kelvin Grove, close to where Glencoe Junction Station now 
stands. The whole of this new section appeared in the 
Minutes of the Conference as the 'Buffalo Circuit,* but in 1887 
it was renamed * Enyanyadu/ from the locality in which the 
work developed its greatest strength numerically, and where 
now the native minister resides. Many of the natives bought 
land in the neighbourhood on a large scale, and to-day are 
extensive landowners. 

From Enyanyadu the native ministers and local preachers 
crossed into Zululand, and this entry was the first missionary 
enterprise carried on in that country by the Wesleyan Church. 
They also worked across the Transvaal border at different 
points, the most important being by way of Majuba and 
Laing's Nek, and near what is now Volksrust, and some 
splendid results were reaped amongst the purely heathen popu- 
lation. This section eventually developed into the present 
* Charlestown Circuit.' 

In the year 1904 the work which in 1887 had Ladysmith 
and Driefontein for its nucleus, and was covered in the travels 
of the Ladysmith minister, was represented by 1 1 Circuits, with 
5 English ministers, 6 native ministers, 400 local preachers, and 
17 native evangelists. The native membership is 7,300, with 
3,000 on trial. The larger proportion of these are converts 
from heathenism. There are 303 English members. Has the 
history of Wesleyan missions in South Africa a brighter page ? 

Too much credit cannot be given to the native local 
preachers at Driefontein and other places, who laboured most 
faithfully in evangelizing their fellow-countrymen throughout 
the north of Natal. But for them the work could not have 
been carried on, and would not in many instances have been 
begun. To know them and their apostolic labours is to 
venerate them, and pray that the succession may be continued. 
Is it not a similar agency that will ultimately fully evangelize 
the aboriginal population of Africa ? 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



From 185010 1861 the Rev. Horatio Pearse was stationed 
at Maritzburg, first as Chairman of the District, then as Chair- 
man and General Superintendent. He had previously laboured 
at Beecham Wood, Butterworth, and Grahamstown, and was 
conscientious, devoted, and careful in all things. His health 
having failed, he obtained permission to return to England. 
His last sermon in Natal he preached in Kafir, and the follow- 
ing week he started for home, on January 31, 1862. His 
friend, Mr. William Hartley, offered to drive him to Durban 
in his own vehicle. In descending a hill near the * Half- 
way House,' about twenty-eight miles from Maritzburg, the 
horses bolted. Mrs. Pearse and her daughter were thrown 
out first, the former on her head, and for some time was 
insensible. The latter was not much 
hurt. Mr. Hartley had his leg broken. 
Mr. Pearse was found lying on his 
back, with one of the wheels of the 
carriage on his head, the carriage 
itself having been dashed to pieces. 
For sixteen hours he remained sense- 
less. The sufferers were carried to 
Durban in cots swung in waggons. 
Messrs. Cato and other friends did 
everything possible to promote their 
comfort, and, if possible, their re- 
covery ; but Mr. Pearse was found to 
be seriously injured internally. He 
was loved by the natives, and one of 
them walked all the way from Maritz- 
burg to see him. When told that 
the doctor had ordered absolute quiet, he entreated, * Po 
let me see him ! I will not utter a word. I will only look 
at him.' Upon being admitted, he stood looking for a few 
moments at the bruised, distorted face, then, overcome at the 
sight, he hastened into the adjoining yard and gave vent to 
his feelings in a flood of tears. After lingering for fifteen days, 
with only brief intervals of consciousness, * the silver cord was 
broken,' and Mr. Pearse passed quietly away to his eternal 
reward. He was a judicious adviser, a faithful friend, earnest 
in duty, and very useful in his work. 

His successor in the Chairmanship was the Rev. Jesse 
Pilcher. He had been a missionary in the West Indies, 
and subsequently was for six years Superintendent of Irish 


Digitized by LnOOQlC 


Missions and Schools. The work was so different from what 
he had been accustomed to that he seemed unable to adapt 
himself to the new circumstances, and after three years he 
returned to England. 

He was followed by the Rev. James Cameron, a remarkable 
man. He was well read in most things, deeply read in 
theology, and had a powerful and logical mind. He was a 
marvellous sermonizer, and kept on making new discourses at 


an age when most preachers are content to rely on the pro- 
ductions of earlier years. He generally prepared with great 
care, but there were occasions when he would preach from a 
text which was impressed on his mind in the pulpit. His wide 
reading, knowledge of Scripture, and strong grasp of mind, 
made him always prepared. He had no small share of the 
Covenanter spirit, and smote with the claymore whatever he 
believed to be wrong. In conversation his Scotch humour and 
powers of description made him a delightful companion. He 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


had a good knowledge of the Dutch and Seralong languages. 
For eleven years his General Superintendency lasted, and he 
died in 1875, ^^^^ forty-five years of active service, unbroken 
by any visit to England. He was one of the princes of his 
people, and his memory ought not to be forgotten. 

Methodism in Natal expanded, and new circuits were 
formed. Verulam was separated from Durban in 186 1. It 
used to be called * The Holy City,' but the influx of Moham- 
medans into the town threatened to turn it into a Natal 
Mecca. Happily, it still retains its predominantly Christian 
character. In 1859 an industrial institution for native girls 
and boys was started, chiefly through the efforts of the Rev. J. 
Gaskin. The native boys learnt the arts of bricklaying, shoe- 
making, and agriculture ; whilst the girls were taught sewing, 
cooking, and all kinds of household work. During the last 
year of Mr. Gaskin's pastorate he erected a beautiful church, 
cruciform in shape, and combining elegance with stability. It 
was completed in 1864, when it was opened by the Rev. T, 
Guard, whose brilliant j:ermons made a profound impression. 
Mr. Gaskin also erected a native church and a mission house, 
and a good deal of the work of both buildings was done by his 
own hands. When Mr. Gaskin left in 1863, in consequence 
of ill health, Verulam was left for months without a pastor, 
and the industrial school declined. The Rev. J. Allsopp, how- 
ever, took the work in hand, and restored the institution for a 
time ; but in 1869 the Natal Government withdrew the grants 
to the industrial schools at Verulam, Indaleni, and Edendale, 
and all these institutions were closed. If native education has 
been directed into wrong channels, the Governments of South 
Africa are not free from blame. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



IN 1866 commercial depression prevailed throughout the 
whole of South Africa. It began the previous year, and 
continued until 1870, when the discovery of the Diamond 
Fields commenced to improve the trade of the country. 
It was the first great commercial crisis in this part of the 
world. Property was lost or depreciated, business was stag- 
nant, and money could scarcely be had. Happily, during this 
crisis, or a great part of it, food was plentiful, for the crops 
were abundant. But through their * losses and crosses ' many 
turned towards higher things, and were disposed to listen to 
spiritual appeals. 

Another aspect of the times may be referred to. Bishop 
Colenso had a few years before published his work on ' The 
Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined,' in 
which he called in question the inspiration and historical 
accuracy of the first five books of the Bible. The contro- 
versy which arose was injurious to the personal religion of 
many. If the Pentateuch was unhistorical, if the Lord Christ 
was fallible and liable to err, what foundation was there left 
for Christian faith and life ? At this juncture, when, in con- 
sequence of Bishop Colenso's writings, the authority of 
Scripture and the doctrines and ethics of Christianity were 
seemingly imperilled, a mighty spiritual movement occurred 
which proved that the Gospel is still the power of God to 
change the hearts and lives of men. 

The Rev. William Taylor, after several months of successful 
evangelistic work in Cape Colony, arrived in Natal, and on 
Sunday, September 9, opened his commission in Maritzburg 
by a powerful appeal to the members of the Church. In the 
evening, to a large congregation, he preached an awakening 
sermon on the law of God as the rule of life. Only a few that 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 


night openly avowed their desire to find peace with God. The 
meetings continued for a fortnight, the power and influence 
increasing every day. Ministers and members of several other 
churches attended and took part in the services, and many of 
them received great spiritual blessing. About fifty persons 
professed conversion. Still, in Maritzburg there were none of 
those overwhelming manifestations which had been, and were 
afterwards, witnessed elsewhere. The Church in this case was 
evidently not prepared for an extensive movement. 

From Maritzburg Mr. Taylor went to Durban. Here the 
work was greater and more widespread. All classes of the 
community were more or Jess influenced by it. Night after 
night the church was crowded with hearers and enquirera 
Such scenes had never been witnessed in Natal before. Yet 
there was no extravagance, no * wild-fire,' as it used to be 
called. Excitement there certainly was, fervid and intense ; 
but it was deep below the surface, and based upon intelligent 
conviction. Men and women, adults and children, alike yielded 
to the same mighty influence. Over one hundred persons 
professed to find salvation, and joined the Wesleyan Church. 
The youngest son of the Rev. James Cameron was converted, 
and four years later entered the ministry. The Rev. W. H. 
Mann, Congregational minister, was almost as active in the 
work as any Wesleyan could be, and some of the American 
missionaries were present to sympathize and help. For years 
afterwards a united meeting was held annually of Methodists 
and Congregationalists to render thanks to God for this visi- 
tation of grace, and to encourage one another in the service of 
Christ's kingdom. 

From Durban Mr. Taylor proceeded to Verulam. Here 
this glorious work may be said to have culminated. Earnest 
prayer and zealous toil had long been going on, and the spirit 
of expectation was now raised to the highest point. The Holy 
Spirit descended upon the people with amazing power. In 
that small and scattered community about one hundred and 
twenty persons obtained saving benefit from the services. 
The memory of those days was vivdd and precious for many 

During Mr. Taylor's visit to Natal he preached to the natives 
only five sermons. There was, Mr. Taylor thought, a strong 
prejudice amongst the Natalians against employing natives in 
the ministry, and to combat it he left the native work to Charles 
Pamla, who had accompanied him. Famla preached at Maritz- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


burg, Edendale, Durban, Verulam, and other places, and 
everywhere the word was with power. At Edendale it seemed 
as if, at one time, the whole of the people on the station would 
be converted. Zealous native preachers carried the glad 
tidings to heathen kraals which, up to that date, had been 
rarely visited. * This did more,* said Mr. Taylor, * to break 
down a foolish caste and colour prejudice than volumes of 
argument could have done, and thus opened the way for the 
employment of native agency, which God will mainly employ 
for the evangelization of Africa.' 

The increase to the Wesleyan Church in Natal resulting 
from this revival was great, especially considering the small- 
ness of the population at the time. In one year the member- 
ship rose from 1,064 ^^ ^^55^^ ^^ increase of nearly 50 per cent. 
What the accessions were to other denominations could not 
be ascertained. But the least advantage of this glorious move- 
ment was the numerical increase to which it led. Every 
interest and agency in the Church was strengthened. The 
foundations of religious life were broadened, on which could be 
built a more vigorous Christian character, and of more useful 
service in the kingdom of God. Many behevers date from 
this period a wider and deeper view of Scripture truth, a closer 
fellowship with Christ, a fuller sense of duty, a larger qualifica- 
tion for Christian work. The flood of sceptical teaching and 
opinion caused by the Colenso controversy was arrested in its 
course, and the truth, the simplicity, the efficacy of the Gospel 
were once more amply demonstrated. 

The commercial depression reached its lowest ebb in 1868. 
A severe flood in August of that year increased the general 
dejection in Natal. Some left for other lands ; but the majority 
waited and worked on, hoping for better days. One note- 
worthy feature in the history of this period is that new move- 
ments were begun, and new Circuits formed, notwithstanding 
the prevalent adverse circumstances. 

The * Weekly Offering,* or * Sunday Collection,' was first 
estabhshed in Natal during this period. In Maritzburg the 
finances had fallen, in 1868, to about the lowest point. There 
was no prospect of raising the requisite income. As yet the 
principle of complete self-support had not been adopted ; but 
there was a limit to the privilege of drawing upon home funds. 
Unless something could be done it was probable that the 
second minister would be withdrawn, and that meant the 
abandonment, to a large extent, of the country work. Four 

Digitized by LjOOQ4€ 



gentlemen suggested a plan to meet the difficulty, and that 
was to make a collection twice every Sunday. The gentlemen 
were Messrs. Robert Richards, Robert Topham, Paul Hen- 
wood, and John AylifF. They urged the Rev. F. Mason to 
adopt their proposal, but before doing so he consulted the 
members of the Trust Committee and the Leaders' Meeting. 
The vote in favour of the change was almost unanimous, and 
on the following Sunday the new system was commenced. 
The response was hearty and generous. Nobody stayed away 
because it was collection day. The average amount of the 
monthly collection had been about £S ; the weekly offertory 
during the first quarter averaged a little over £^. This was 
a large sum, considering the size and 
resources of the congregation at that 
time. Thus a method of raising money 
to assist the cause of God, at once 
simple, reasonable, and Scriptural, 
was determined on, and the secret of 
financial stability and prosperity was 
discovered when people began to lay 
upon the altar of the Lord every week 
as He had prospered them. 

At Edendale tribal differences and 
jealousies led to a temporary rupture 
between the residents. The dissi- 
dents erected a separate place of 
worship, and established a Day and 
Sunday School. But for the tact of 
the Rev. H. S. Barton, a permanent 

schism must have" resulted. He did not exclude them from 
membership, but gradually incorporated their organization into 
the circuit. In course of time the leader of the dissentients 
left the station, the race antipathies cooled down, a reunion 
took place, and the breach was healed. The work grew and 
developed. A large church, costing ;^i,ooo, was built, chiefly 
by native hands, and paid for by native money. There was a 
growing desire for education of a better kind. The station 
itself materially improved. The dale near to the river, with 
its grand waterfall, the mill for grinding their corn, the streets 
along which hundreds of peach-trees had been planted, its two 
churches, its schools, made the place with some reason an 

Several new Circuits were formed during this period — York 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 


in 1869, Zwaartkop in 1872, Harrismith in 1874, ^md Etembeni 
in 1874. York for a time did well, and the Rev. C. Harmon, 
who arrived there in 1869, worked with zeal and energy. The 
Rev. J. Langley followed him, and during his eight years' 
pastorate he built the day school at York, and several churches 
in the Circuit. Then, for some time, York was without a 
minister, and all the churches were closed except York and 
Greytown, which were kept open by the local preachers. In 
1883 the Rev. S. B. Cawood arrived, and reopened the closed 
buildings and improved York church. 

In the year 1870 an effort was made to provide an efficient 
training for native young men, who might afterwards be em- 
ployed as teachers and preachers. The plan proposed was 
that the superintendents of native stations should each take a 
few men and give them instruction in various branches of 
knowledge to qualify them for future service. The scheme 
was econoqjicpJ^ and was agreed upon because a training 
institution was at the time impracticable on account of the heavy 
cost. The plan was not a success, and the few students were 
sent first to Indaleni and then to Verulam. After many delays 
and many misgivings, an Institution was established at Ederi- 
dale in 1884, during the pastorate of the Rev. E. Nuttall. The 
building was T-shaped in form, with three gables and attic 
windows. On the ground-floor were two fine class-rooms, the 
head tutor's suite of apartments, refectory, kitchen, and pantry. 
On the upper floor were dormitories for fifty pupils. The 
Hon. Sir Charles Mitchell, the Governor, was present at the 
opening ceremony, and in his address said : * The natives, like 
many Europeans, thought that education meant to learn to 
read and write, and to wear clothes like a white man ; but this 
was a mistake, and it was because of this false estimate of 
education that many people thought a Kafir educated was a 
Kafir spoilt. The true object of education was to lead out the 
native mind from everything of a barbarous character, and to 
give a new talent to the recipients of education, leading them 
also to a knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
The idea that the Gospel tended to inculcate sloth and careless- 
ness could not be too strongly reprobated, and he knew that 
the good men who were to direct that Institution would ever 
seek to inculcate the opposite principle.' 

Two years later a building was erected for carpentry and 
blacksmithing, and a much -needed industrial training was 
added. But the Institution had to contend with keen com- 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


petition. Healdtown and Lovedale were very popular with 
the natives, and the Roman Catholic Church, with marvellous 
resources and ability, threw itself vigorously into the education 
of both European and native. But the value of the Institution 
was slowly recognised. 

Methodism failed in Natal, as it did in Cape Colony, in its 
first attempts to provide schools for the children of its English 
adherents. About 1854 infant and primary schools were 
opened at Maritzburg and Durban, and did much good for 
many years. In 1859 a Methodist Boys' School was started 
in Maritzburg, of which the first headmaster was the Rev. 
T. B. Glanville, a man of considerable culture and charming 
personality ; but within a year he left to undertake the editor- 
ship of the Grahamstown Journal, and, after a struggle, the 
school was closed. About i860 a Wesleyan Boys' School was 
commenced in Durban, and a trained master was obtained 
from England, but it had a very brief life. A Wesleyan day 
school was established at Verulam, but subsequently it was 
transformed into a Government school. In 1877 a school was 
started at York, but debt was incurred, and it, too, was merged 
into an undenominational school. In 1873 an effort was made 
to unite the Wesleyans of Maritzburg and D jrban in a scheme 
for a Boys' High School, and representatives met to discuss the 
proposal. Some wanted the school at Durban, and others 
thought it should be at Maritzburg, so, for want of agreement, 
the scheme came to nought. An attempt was made by the 
Rev. James Calvert, in 1876, to establish a girls' school in 
Maritzburg, but it was abandoned in favour of a Girls' Collegi- 
ate School on an undenominational basis, in which all could 

Other churches have undertaken to establish high schools 
for boys, but their success has been small except in a very 
few instances. Girls' schools of a similar class have been 
more successful. The Government, which aids the churches 
little, provides education at a cheap rate, and, under the foster- 
ing care of Mr. R. Russell, the Superintendent Inspector, and 
his successor, the Government schools for boys and girls have 
risen to a state of great efficiency, and are equal to schools of 
like grade in England. But whatever the difficulties, it is 
desirable that Methodism should provide the best education 
that can be obtained for her sons and daughters. One cannot 
but cherish the hope that some day Maritzburg may follow in 
the steps of Grahamstown, with its * High School for Girls,' 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


and its * Kingswood College ' for boys, both of which institu- 
tions have been remarkably successful. 

Ruskin, the great art critic, writes in the most caustic terms 
of religious people who erect churches and do not pay for them : 
* Don't get into debt. Starve and go to heaven, but don't 
borrow. Can't you preach and pray behind the hedges, or in 
a sandpit, or a coal-hole first?' If Christian people buy or 
build without being able to pay, or borrow money satisfied if 
only they can pay the interest, they cast away much of their 
power to rebuke the loose commercial morality of worldly men. 

The Natal district was in debt— not heavily, as we should 
think now; but the burden was not pleasant to bear. In 1868 
the Rev. H. S. Barton devised a scheme to pay off the whole 
of the liabilities on the different properties, chiefly in Maritz- 
burg. Durban, and Ladysmith. About ^1,200 had to be 
raised—a large sum for those times. The Missionary Com- 
mittee in London promised to contribute largely towards such 
an effort. In about three years the scheme was completed, 
and not a penny of debt remained in the district. It was 
clearly understood that when the whole debt was paid off no 
further debt should be incurred. Alas for the vanity of human 
purposes ! 

The scheme, as devised by Mr. Barton, included the forma- 
tion of a building fund for the District, and was intended to aid 
church extension. This, however, was found to be impractic- 
able, on account of the scarcity of money. A fund of this kind 
exists in the Grahamstown District (due to the foresight of the 
late Rev. W. Impey), and has proved of great use there. It 
would be well if such a fund were established in every District. 

The immediate effect of the discovery of the Diamond Fields 
was such an exodus of people from Natal that things seemed 
more depressed than ever. At Maritzburg the ordinary Sunday 
congregation did not exceed 100 adults. The tide began to 
turn in 1871-1872, from which date the attendance at Divine 
worship slowly increased. Most of those who had left for the 
Fields returned, on the whole better off than when they went 
away, whilst many new-comers arrived from England. The 
improved financial condition of the country enabled Durban, 
Maritzburg, and Verulam to relieve the Missionary Com- 
mittee in London of all charges for ministerial incomes, 
houses, furniture, and the usual assessments. They became 

Henceforth, native and English statistics were separated in 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


the annual returns. Where practicable, a division was effected 
into English and native Circuits. It was now shown how 
many Europeans and how many natives respectively were in 
Church fellowship, and how much they contributed to the 
maintenance of their own institutions and agencies. Then it 
also became evident what progress was being made in the 
work of God amongst these two sections of the community. 

Sir Garnet (now Lord) Wolseley said in 1875 that the Zulu 
power was like a dark cloud hanging over the colony of Natal. 
Cetywayo, the Zulu King, compelled all the young men of his 
nation to bear arms, and formed numerous military kraals. 
To remonstrance, he replied : * It is the custom of our nation 
to kill, and I shall not depart from it.* In 1878 two Zulu 
women fled across the Buffalo River into Natat. They were 
followed, taken out of the huts in which they had sought 
refuge, and were dragged back into Zululand, where they 
were killed. Sir Bartle Frere, the British High Commissioner, 
demanded from Cetywayo the surrender of the murderers, and 
the disbanding of his military regiments. As Cetywayo re- 
fused, war was declared. 

Two days before the disastrous fight at Isandhlwana, a 
missionary meeting was held at Maritzburg in connection 
with the District Synod. Sir Bartle Frere was present, and 
spoke on the value of mission work, and expressed the hope 
that when peace was re-established it would be resumed and 
carried on more vigorously in Zululand than before. Little 
did anyone imagine that within thirty-six hours a sanguinary 
conflict would take place, in which 850 European soldiers and 
400 Natal natives would be slain. About 2 p.m. on the day of 
the battle there was an eclipse of the sun, and while it was being 
observed from Government House, Sir Bartle Frere remarked, 
* How strange it would be if fighting were now going on in 
Zululand. Great battles have often occurred at the time of 

When it became evident that the war would be prolonged, 
and that reinforcements would have to be sent from England, 
it was determined to despatch chaplains to the front to minister 
to the troops. The Rev. T. Woolmer, junior, was the first to 
be sent. He went up to Rorke's Drift towards the end of 
February, was with Major Black's party when it paid its first 
visit to the battlefield of Isandhlwana, was in the fight at 
Kambula Camp on March 29, and remained with the troops 
until the final battle at Ulundi on July 4. As the result of 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



communications with the War Office, three more chaplains 
were appointed. The War Office supplied them with tents, 
rations, and transport ; the Missionary Committee provided 
horses and equipment. The Rev. T. H. Wilkin arrived from 
Grahamstown, and was gazetted chaplain to the Wesleyan 
soldiers in the First Division on the Lower Tugela. He soon 
became a favourite both with officers and men, but in a few 
weeks was stricken down with fever, and never fully recovered 
from its effects. The Rev. T. W. Pocock took his place, and 
was one of the last chaplains to leave the field at the close 
of the war. The Rev. G. Weaver, of Queenstown, was 
employed on the lines of communication. The services of 
these chaplains were gratefully acknowledged by Sir H. Clifford 
from the local headquarters, and Sir 
Bartle Frere expressed his apprecia- 
tion of the promptitude and zeal which 
the Methodist Church had shown in 
the time of need. 

During the progress of the war a 
troop of mounted men, fifty-five in 
number, was raised at Edendale. 
They provided their own horses and 
saddles, and no soldiers were braver 
or more orderly than these native 
levies. They were at Isandhlwana, 
and marvellously escaped with the 
loss of four men ; they took part in 
the fights at Hlobane, Kambula, and 
Ulundi. They were not ashamed of 
their religion. It was their custom 
to have worship in their part of the camp, and every day 
the sound of praise and prayer was borne afar upon the air. 
Many soldiers gathered around to listen, and some were 
deeply impressed by the simple and earnest way in which 
these sons of Africa acknowledged the Lord of Hosts. On 
their return the Rev. J. Allsopp, then in charge of Edendale, 
arranged that they should have a public welcome. Sir H. 
Bulwer, the Governor, and a number of leading citizens of 
Maritzburg, were present, and Sir Henry, amongst other 
words, said to the men : * Your conduct has been without 
reproach, and has been marked by courage and other good 
qualities which have always distinguished the men of Eden- 
dale, and made them a most useful force. You have won the 


Digitized by LjOOQIC 


praise of all under whom you have served. I give you a hearty 
welcome home. I thank you in the name of the Queen.' 
Possibly, it may be said, that such a demonstration ministers 
to pride, and fosters warlike tendencies ; but if war is ever 
permissible or justifiable, those who do their duty well in it are 
worthy of honour. In this instance, no evil could follow the 
recognition of perilous and faithful service. 

A wave of conflict passed over South Africa at this period. 
In the Cape Colony the Ama-Xosa, long jealous of the Fingoes, 
rushed into their territory, killed all they met, and swept off 
the cattle. The Pondomise and Griquas were affected by 
the war spirit and became restive. The Basutos resisted the 
application of the Peace Preservation Act, and rather than 
give up their guns they took up arms 
against the Cape, and for three years 
defied all attempts to subdue them. 
In 1 88 1 the Transvaal Boers, discon- 
tented with British rule, commenced 
a war which was full of disaster to 
British troops, and at the end of it the 
Transvaal secured its independence. 
False ideals, racial feuds, sprang into 
existence, and, gathering increasing 
bitterness, broke forth twenty years 
later into the fiercest war South Africa 
has known. 

Natal had her share of these troubles. 
Many of her sons found a soldier's grave. rev. s. e. rowe. 

But within her borders she had tran- 
quillity. There was no diminution of Christian activity, and 
in some instances the people seemed stirred up to greater 
activity. After the death of the Rev. James Cameron, the 
Rev. Ralph Stott took charge of the affairs of the District for 
nearly a year. Between 1876 and 1880 the Revs. W. H. 
Millward, C. Roberts, Z. Robinson, and J. Langley returned 
to England; the Revs. O. Watkins, T. Matterson, W. M. 
Douglas, and S. E. Rowe came out from England ; and the 
Rev. F. Mason returned to Natal in 1876, after five years' 
service at home. The Rev. S. E. Rowe was made Chairman 
of the District in 1886, and President of the Conference in 1890. 
Three young men were received into the ministry — Mr. Wool- 
mer in 1876, Mr. Bryant in 1877, and Mr. Franklin in 1879. 
During the latter half of 1876 the Rev. J. Calvert had the 

Digitized by V2]d30Ql€ 



care of the Maritzburg Circuit, and for a year afterwards was 
at Durban, where the rapid growth of the work rendered 
additional help necessary. At a time of life when most men 
would have craved for well-earned rest, this veteran of Fijian 
story came out to South Africa at the.request of the Missionary 
Committee, and rendered valuable aid at Potchefstroom and at 
Kimberley in the early days of the diamond mines. His stay 
in the country was short, but rich in spiritual influence. 


About 1877 an epoch of Methodist church building com- 
menced in Natal. Durban led the way in the erection of a 
new church in West Street, on the site of the one opened in 
1858, and which is now one of the largest ecclesiastical struc- 
tures in Natal. It is plain Gothic in style, with nave and side 
aisles, and a small front gallery. Liberal donations were made 
towards the undertaking, one well-known firm giving ;^i,ooo, 
another £2^0, The foundation stone was laid by Mrs. W. B. 
Greenacre, daughter of the venerable Ralph Stott. The total 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



cost was over ;^6,ooo, and it was opened early in 1878. 
Another church was built in Musgrave Road and dedicated 
early in 1877, and cost ;^i,2oo. The success of both these 
enterprises was largely due to the Rev. Z. Robinson, who 
walked, and talked, and worked, and begged with unflagging 
energy. A fine organ was placed in West Street Church in 
1 88 1, costing ;^90o ; and in this effort the Rev. W. Wynne 
was the prime mover, encouraged by a contribution from one 
donor of £s5^f which made success certain. 

The little church at Congella was enlarged to nearly double 
its former size. A piece of land was secured in Russell Street, 
and on this a school-church was built, sufficient space being 
left for a large church when the need 
for it arose. The name of Mr. John 
Cowey will ever be connected with this 
enterprise, for he toiled early and late, 
year after year, until it was accom- 
plished. The Grey Street Church, 
which it superseded, was sold to the 
Jewish community for a synagogue. 
In 1877 the Rev. R. Stott succeeded in 
erecting at the west end of Durban a 
small church in the midst of the Indian 
settlement, and thus secured a per- 
manent basis for his work. Some years 
later, for the benefit of the same class 
of people, a church was erected at 
Verulam, which was used as a day 
school as well as a place of worship. 

At Maritzburg in 1878, during the pastorates of the Revs. 
F. Mason and O. Watkins, the church was enlarged by the 
addition of more than half its length, and a gallery was 
erected at the back for a new organ, the choir, and childre n. 
The building may not be attractive to the artistic eye, but it is 
dear to the hearts of many from its associations. A plot of 
ground was obtained for a parsonage, which was built in 1882. 
At the east end of Maritzburg ground was bought for ;^7oo. 
Land had risen in value, for twelve years earlier a piece double 
the size in the same locality could have been purchased for 
;^iio. But the money was not then to be had. Upon this 
ground a commodious school - church was erected, costing 
;^i,5oo. Towards the cost Mr. Richard Baynes left a legacy 




A church was built at Camperdown in 1868. At Caver- 
sham, chiefly through the exertions of Mr. T. Greathead, a 
neat little church was built in 1877. ^^ Howick, where 
services had been held for twenty years in private houses, a 
good stone church was completed in 1879. At New Leeds 
the people put up a small church in 1878. 

Substantial little churches w^ere opened at Riet Vlei and at 
Noodsberg in the York Circuit in 1877. At Greytown the 
services were conducted at first in the court-house and then 
in a church, of which Bishop Colenso was the trustee, and 
which, being seldom used, was kindly lent to the Wesleyans. 
However, in 1878 a neat church with a belfry was completed. 
All these erections owed their success to the indomitable 
energy of the Rev. James Langley, 

At Ladysmith the little church built by the Rev. A. P. 
Chaplin became too small when the railway to the Transvaal 
passed through the town and brought an increase of popula- 
tion, and a larger one was erected in 1891 during the residence 
of the Rev. W. Cliff. 

About the middle of the year 1877 there was a gracious 
visitation of Divine blessing in Durban and its neighbourhood, 
in which most of the Churches shared. The chief human 
agent in this work was Mr. David Russell, of the Presby- 
terian Church at Addington, near Durban. He had come out 
not long before from Glasgow, where he had begun to conduct 
mission services, and was familiar with the methods of Messrs. 
Moody and Sankey. The movement in Durban commenced 
in Grey Street Church, where Mr. Russell had been invited to 
preach. At the evening service a solemn feeling pervaded the 
congregation, and all remained to the after meeting. Many 
were under deep religious conviction, and ten persons pro- 
fessed to find peace with God. The meetings were continued 
for the rest of the week, with similar results. Then it was 
arranged that a second week of services should be held. The 
work increased, and the church became too small for all the 
people who wished to attend, and it was then arranged to call 
together all the ministers and Christian workers in the town. 
At this meeting it was resolved to visit the various churches 
in the town and in the suburbs and give a week to each, and 
to one a fortnight. Thus the Congregational, Baptist, Presby- 
terian, and Methodist Churches took part in the work, and 
shared the blessing. Durban itself, Addington, Berea, Con- 
geJl^; Sydenham, and one or two other places, were visited in 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


turn, and in every instance good work was done. The chief 
conduct of the meetings was entrusted to Mr. Russell. The 
general result was a great stimulus to Christian life and work. 
Several young men began to preach, others to help in Sabbath 
schools and other forms of usefulness. Some of the most 
earnest workers in the Church in subsequent years were con- 
verted in that revival. Mr. Russell himself was led to see his 
true vocation. He gave up business, and devoted himself 
entirely to spiritual work. He received a call to the pastorate 
of the Congregational Church in Maritzburg in 1885, and was 
ordained to the full work of the ministry. He preached the 
Gospel with great variety of illustration, and much spiritual 
power, labouring with equal readiness in connection with any 
branch of the Christian Church. He subsequently became 
pastor of a Presbyterian church at Cape Town, but has now 
for some years past been doing the work of an evangelist in 
various parts of South Africa. 

In March, 1880, the Rev. Ralph Stott went home to God 
after fifty-one years of active ministerial labour. He was one 
of the oldest teetotalers in the world ; and in India, England, 
and Natal had been a warm advocate of entire abstinence 
from intoxicating liquors. His judgment was sound and his 
aims were pure, and hence he was the trusted counsellor of 
many. His labours among the scattered coolie population of 
Natal were full of difficulty, yet for many years he laboured on 
with the hopefulness of youth. His sun set without a cloud. 
Some of his last words were : * What a grand thing it is to 
have a certainty of eternal life !* 

About this time there was considerable change in Circuits, 
which were divided and rearranged, names appearing and dis- 
appearing in a surprising manner. Stanger was one of the 
new Circuits. First it was known as Umhlali, then as Lower 
Tugela and Nonoti, and at last it received its present name, 
Stanger. Amid its vicissitudes one man there was whose con- 
fidence never failed, the Hon. J. L. Hulett, M.L.C., and to 
his persistence more than to anything else is the present posi- 
tion of Methodism in Stanger due. 

The first Wesleyan church in Dundee was built before there 
was a town of that name. It stood alone in the veld, and the 
congregation was drawn from the surrounding farms, trading 
stores, and the few men who were working the surface coal. 
The year 1885-86 saw a great development in coal-mining, 
and Mr. Peter Smith, owner of the farm Dundee, apportioned 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


a section of his property to form a township. Building sites 
readily sold, buildings sprang up, the present town of Dundee 
was laid out, and the Methodist Church expanded into the 
now wide and important Circuit of Dundee. During the pas- 
torate of the Rev. S. H. Ravenscroft a handsome Gothic 
church was erected, costing ;^2,6oo. The opening services 
were conducted by the Rev. W. J. Hacker. 

A Wesleyan minister was appointed to Newcastle in 1881. 
His stipend was guaranteed not only by Wesleyans, but by 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists, who had little sympathy 
with Methodist usages. The church was placed on a Congre- 
gationat basis, and the Congregational hymnbook was used. 
For four years this unsatisfactory arrangement was carried on, 
when the Presbyterians obtained a minister of their own, and 
he shared with the Wesleyan minister the duty of preaching 
to the one congregation. At the next Wesleyan Synod it was 
decided that this dual pastorate was undesirable, and, to the 
great disappointment of the Wesleyans in the congregation, 
the minister was withdrawn. In 1890 Newcastle was re- 
occupied, and placed under the care of the Rev. C. J. Hepburn, 
of Dundee. In 1894, the congregation having increased, 
Newcastle was formed into a separate Circuit, with the Rev. 
R. F. Rumfitt as resident minister. 

At Verulam during these years there was a gradual dis- 
placement of the population. A good many English residents, 
especially young men, left the village, and Arab traders came 
in ; while English farmers removed elsewhere, and Mauritians, 
Frenchmen, and Indians, took their place. Local Methodism 
suffered by this diminution of its adherents, but, on the other 
hand, the Indian Mission was extended. A school-church was 
erected at Bridgeford for their benefit, a second at Wood- 
lands, and a third at Cornubia. For years Mr. Stott, senior, 
was the only European worker in this field ; afterwards, 
other churches entered it, the Episcopalians taking the most 
prominent part. 

Towards the end of 1881 Mr. C. J. Varley, of Maritzburg, 
invited a ifew friends to meet at his new house for religious 
conversation and prayer. Portions of Finney's work on 
* Revivals * were read, suggestions were made, and the rest 
of the time was spent in earnest prayer. Ten or twelve 
persons usually attended, but gradually the feeling deepened, 
and extended to the Friday evening prayer meeting, one of 
the oldest Methodist institutions in Maritzburg. Soon the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


schoolroom was filled, and at one of the meetings the first 
conversion took place 

Then for a month services were held in the church, con- 
ducted by the resident ministers. The work was genuine, 
deep and widespread. Many sought salvation ; some who had 
long led a life of sin turned to the Lord. Soldiers sought God's 
mercy. Special meetings were held for a fortnight amongst 
the Dutch-speaking coloured people, and about fifty professed 
to find peace with God. The revival continued for several 
months. The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily on many, 
and not only ministers, but local preachers, leaders, and 
Sunday-School teachers, spoke publicly and earnestly for God. 

The work extended to the country stations — to Malton, 
Camperdown, Howick, New Leeds, and Caversham, even as 
far as York, and at each numerous conversions took place. 
Local preachers rode out ten or fifteen miles when the day's 
work was done, praying as they went, held meetings, often 
long ones, then rode back singing joyfully, and were found 
next morning at their usual posts of business. This continued 
from May to September, 1882. 

It is believed that about 200 Europeans professed con- 
version, nearly half of whom were in the country churches. 
The numbers in the native Circuit increased by 170. At the 
English covenant service held the following January, most of 
these new converts were publicly recognised as members of 
the Church, and when they stood up in a large body the effect 
was overwhelming. Hearts thrilled with thankfulness, and 
eyes were filled with tears of joy. In the same year — 1882 — 
a school-church was erected at the east end of Maritzburg, 
and a parsonage a few years later. 

A more extensive revival was experienced by the Wesleyan 
churches in Natal in 1892 during the visit of the Rev. T. Cook 
from England. For weeks before his arrival special prayer 
had been offered for a richer baptism of the Holy Spirit, and 
old men spoke of the days of William Taylor. Expectation 
was quickened. 

On the first Sunday in Durban after his arrival rain fell 
steadily all day, and in consequence some of the churches were 
closed, but the Wesleyan Church was crowded to the door. 
Neither rain nor wind will stop willing feet if the heart be set 
on heavenly things. On the Thursday following the rain still 
fell. A grand concert was to be held in the Town Hall. 
Owing to the rain there was no house, but the Wesleyan 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


church was filled, and that night many were converted. At 
the subsequent services all classes of the community from the 
Governor downwards attended. A local paper said : * The 
town has been shaken to its centre/ For two weeks the 
services were continued, and many of the people, finding the 
church crowded and unable to gain entrance, were content to 
stand in the rain outside, and listen through the open door. 

One example of the work must suffice. On the first day of 
the Mission a letter was read from an anonymous person : * I 
shall be glad if you will pray for myself and my wife. We 
are both anxious to know Christ for certain. Ask God to let 
us see as plain as daylight that Christ is ours.* It need not be 
said that earnest prayer was offered on their behalf. At the 
evening service on the following day the writer himself was 
present, and at the after meeting rose and said : * My wife and 
I did not attend last evening, it rained so heavily ; but we 
sat at home talking over the subject. Suddenly a strange 
power descended upon us, and we were compelled to fall on 
our knees and cry earnestly to God. The Saviour revealed 
Himself to us as a blessed reality, and we both arose filled 
with the rapture of a pardoned past.' 

At the native church one service was held, and at least 
1,200 natives were present. At the close of the address 
hundreds remained to pray. They knelt by the communion 
rail, in the aisles, and in the pews. Three hundred natives 
that night sought the Lord in prayer. 

When the services were concluded the Wesleyan Church in 
Durban received an addition of 300 members, and sixteen new 
society classes were formed. * And there was great joy in 
that city.' 

At Maritzburg Mr. Cook's services were equally rich in 
blessing. The service for men only was a time to be remem- 
bered. * The compact mass of men, a thousand in number, 
the sonorous volume of Christian song, the racy hard-hitting 
of the preacher, the rush for the inquiry room, the chronicle 
of answered prayers, made together a memory to be cherished.' 
The work among the young men was a special feature of the 
Mission, and one of the most hopeful. A mother came in 
great distress : * I am a widow, and my eldest son is a source 
of great anxiety. He ridicules sacred things, and I am afraid 
of his influence over some of the younger members of the 
family, who have been converted in these services. Do pray 
for him.' Two nights later the mother came with a beaming 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


face : * My eldest son has this night decided to serve God, 
and has found peace. Now we are all going to heaven 

In another family a mother and three daughters were all 
saved, and filled with joy in believing. * Life seems quite a 
different thing !* exclaimed the mother. * I don't feel as if any- 
thing could make me miserable now. Our home is a different 
place altogether.* 

During the services 500 inquirers were prayed with, of 
whom four- fifths were adult persons. When Mr. Cook left 
Maritzburg the railway-station was crowded with people to bid 
him farewell, and as the train moved away from the platform 
they joined in singing the well-known 

refrain, * God be with you till we meet -1 


The Rev. Ezra Nuttall resided at 
Durban for ten years, from 1886 to 
1896, a period during which the seaport 
rapidly extended its boundaries. The 
Berea, once a tangled thicket of trees 
and creepers, was now largely occupied 
by villas and gardens, and became the 
most picturesque suburb of Durban. 
To provide for the increasing popula- 
tion, new churches were built, and old 
ones superseded by larger ones. Stam- 
ford Hill Church was opened in 1893, 
replacing one built in 1865 ; Manning Rev. e. nuttall. 

Road Church was erected in 1893, in 

place of Berea Ridge, built in 1866 ; the same year — 1893 — ^ 
small wood and iron building was opened in Windmill Road ; 
in 1894 ^ handsome church was completed in Musgrave Road, 
chiefly through the exertions of the Rev. G. W. Rogers, in place 
of one built in 1877; Greyville Church was opened in 1898, 
whilst the Rev. W. F. Evans was in charge; Addington Church, 
opened in 1865, was twice enlarged. The Durban Circuit now 
includes ten churches. Much of this material extension was 
due to the enterprise of the laymen, who devoted both time 
and wealth to the advancement of the Church they loved. 
The local preachers were unsurpassed in South Africa for 
intelligence and zeal, and but for their unpaid labours muc'. of 
this extension could not have been secured. 

Another long pastorate was that of the Rev. S. E. Rowe, 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


who was at Maritzburg from 1880 to 1893. ^^ was an 
eloquent and impressive expositor of Scripture, and his 
sermons were often attended with great spiritual power. In 
the annual Conferences he was distinguished for broad, states- 
manlike views, and full knowledge of Methodist usages. He 
was elected President in 1890. In 1897 he visited England in 
order to recruit his health, and on his return, whilst his ship 
was in Algoa Bay, he was taken seriously ill, and died on 

The native girls' schools at Edendale and Evansdale became 
financially embarrassed, and had to be closed. That the work 
was of paramount importance was indisputable, for the girls 
who are trained will one day be the mothers of families, and 
impart incalculable good to future generations. After con- 
ferring with friends, the Rev. D. Tolmie Eraser made an 
attempt to fill the gap by establishing an industrial and train- 
ing institution for native girls at Indaleni. Miss Hancock, 
who had undergone two years' training at a missionary insti- 
tute at Edinburgh, nobly volunteered her services without 
remuneration for the first year. From the day of opening the 
institution steadily progressed, until it now has more than fifty 
boarders. The curriculum embraces Biblical and secular 
education, sewing, knitting, cookery, physical drill, and a 
little garden work to preserve the health. 

The war waged by the two Dutch Republics against Great 
Britain — 1900- 1902 — fell heavily on Natal. Within twenty- 
four hours of war being declared the Dutch forces crossed the 
border. Newcastle, Charlestown, Dundee, and the whole of 
the north, fell into their hands, notwithstanding the heavy 
blows they received from British troops at Elandslaagte and 
Talana Hill. Pressing steadily and boldly on in overpowering 
numbers, they compelled the defenders to retreat, and forced 
them into Ladysmith, hemming them in on every side. The 
work of the northern churches was for the time paralyzed. 
Ministers and people alike had to flee, and find a refuge in the 
towns in the south. The Wesleyan churches at Charlestown, 
Newcastle, and Dundee were deserted, and the parsonages 
were looted by the invaders. 

For nearly four months the tide of war ebbed and flowed 
around Ladysmith. The British cannon were inferior in 
range and power to the Boer artillery, and little could be done 
beyond acting on the defensive until deliverance came. Shells 
fell all over the town ; they shrieked overhead, they fell at the 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



back of the Wesleyan parsonage and in the garden ; a melanite 
shell exploded about ten yards from the front door of the 
parsonage ; another shell destroyed the finial of the school- 
room ; but no person in or near the house was struck. 

When the shelling commenced, the Rev. S. B. Cawood 
followed the example of others, and sought shelter in a 
* nullah * along the Poort road. But the next day he returned 
to the parsonage. He felt it was dishonouring to God and a 
disgrace to religion to hide away. He stayed in the parsonage 
during the whole of the siege. 

The Wesleyan church was used as a hospital, so the 
verandah in front of the parsonage was covered with chairs, 
and other chairs were placed among the trees ; and here every 
Sabbath services were held, conducted 
by Mr. Cawood and the Rev. O. S. 
Watkins, the chaplain to the Wes- 
leyan soldiers. In the evening lanterns 
were hung up, and in the dim light 
they afforded, carabineers, volunteers, 
regulars of all ranks, and a few civilians, 
worshipped God. Generally on the 
Sabbath the Dutch abstained from 

Food within the beleaguered town 
got less and less, until horseflesh was 
a luxury, and was served up as 
chevril and steak and sausage. Vege- 
table marrows sold at i8s. apiece, a 
bottle of fruit realized 8s., a tin of 
condensed milk los., eggs fetched 
48s. a dozen, and fowls were considered cheap at 20s. each. 
The dearth of food was felt most keenly by the sick and 
wounded, many of whom died for want of milk and farina- 
ceous diet. 

Mr. Cawood shared with the ministers of other churches 
the work of visiting, the sick and wounded in the hospital 
camp at Intombi, four miles outside the town, and in the four 
hospitals in the town, in which there were at one time nearly 
3,000 patients. Pocket book in hand, he went from bed to 
bed, bringing short messages from friends, comforting the 
despondent, directing them to Christ, and receiving in return 
not unfrequently the grateful acknowledgment, *You have 
done me good, sir.' Fever and enteric were more deadly than 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 



bullet and shell, and the sight of the gaunt, weak, half-starved 
fellows was sometimes more than the heart could bear. 
Through gross mismanagement, the ground on which the 
Intombi Hospital was placed was not drained, and after heavy 
rains doctors and nurses had to wade through the water to get 
to their patients. The nurses had to cook in the open veld 
between the tents, with no shade from the hot sun, or shelter 
from wind and rain. Arrangements were improved after 
the attention of Sir George White, the commander, had been 
called to the neglect, but the marvel is that more did not die 
than actually did. 

Sometimes thirty men died in the twenty-four hours. As 
the Dutch fired on burial parties during the day, most of the 
funerals were conducted at night. * The solitary lantern, my 
own,* wrote Mr. Cawood, * making the gloom and ghastly 
surroundings more weird, the dead soldiers lowered down into 
the graves sewn in their blankets, the solemn recital of the 
Burial Service, the dull thud of wet earth on the uncoffined 
dead, almost unmanned one.* 

For ii8 days the grip of the besieging force did not relax, 
until General Buller's troops stormed after a fierce struggle 
Pieter's Hill, the key of their position, and then the Dutch 
fled — fled in such haste that huge stores of provisions, rifles, 
and ammunition were left behind in the trenches and sangars 
they had made. General White and his staff" rode forth to 
meet the advanced guard of the victorious relieving army, and 
as they met cheer upon cheer rent the air, and the sound must 
have floated down the breeze to the Intombi camp, bringing 
to the invalids the glad news that deliverance had come at 
last. The famous siege was at an end. 

As an appreciation of the services the Rev. S. B. Cawood 
rendered to the sick and wounded, the colonial volunteers 
gave a new carved pulpit to the Wesleyan church, on which 
were inscribed the names of the several regiments employed in 
the defence of the town. 

With the restoration of peace the people returned to their 
homes and the ministers to their charges. Newcastle and 
Dundee soon showed cheering results. At Estcourt a new 
church was erected, and many soldiers were won to Christ. 
At End wed we there was a general increase of membership. 
The Indian Coast Mission was strengthened by the appoint- 
ment of an Indian catechist 

But the most important advance proposed was at Maritz- 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 


burg. The year before the site of the old mission house had 
been leased to Mr. E. W. Ireland, on which to erect stores, 
and for this he engaged to pay ;^30o a year as ground rent. 
Land rapidly increased in value, and Mr. Ireland, finding that 
the Church would not benefit to the fullest extent by the 
arrangement, generously offered to cancel the lease if a com- 
prehensive scheme for church extension were adopted. He 
suggested an erection of stores, one of which he undertook 
to rent at £^2^ a year. The scheme ultimately accepted 
includes the building of a large * recreation hall ' for the use 
of the congregation, several class-rooms, a new church, to be 
called the ' Metropolitan Wesleyan Methodist Church,' the 
present church to be converted into a hall, and English schools 
for the higher education of boys and girls. Only the recrea- 
tion hall has at present been erected, but when the whole 
design is realized the Methodists of Maritzburg will possess 
one of the most complete church properties in South Africa. 

Zululand has at last been peacefully invaded by Methodist 
missionaries. In 1900 the Rev. T. Major commenced services 
in the court-house at Etshowe for the European population, 
and already a beautiful church has been opened, and there 
are good congregations. Vryheid has also been occupied. 
Numerous missions have been commenced amongst the 
natives. At Melmoth and at Babnangor native evangelists 
are employed. At Indhlebe is an evangelist supported by sub- 
scribers in the Old Country. At Mahlabatini and at Non- 
goma are other native evangelists actively at work. Farther 
north, 150 miles from Etshowe, at Ubombo, the natives ask 
for a teacher, but no one can be sent. At Ingwavuma a 
Methodist district surgeon gathered a native congregation, 
and after he left the Zulus met in the forest or at their kraals 
for Divine worship. When the Rev. T. Major visited them 
in 1902 they still kept to their faith, though still without a 
pastor. Between Ingwavuma and Kosi Bay are sixteen 
preaching places, supplied by seven evangelists, who crave 
for European supervision. The chief of the district is 
Ngwanasi, who found Christ during his visits to Natal. He 
carries a Wesleyan hymn book with him, and is never so 
happy as when singing some of its sacred songs to his people. 
He is a fine, stalwart man, wants Zulu books, and desires 
to send his sons to a good school. Here is a grand field for 
missionary enterprise. The people are asking for the Gospel, 
and without trespassing on the ground occupied by other 

Digitized by LnOOQlC 


churches, there is ample room for Methodism. There are 
probably 200,000 Zulus who would welcome a Wesleyan 
missionary. The Rev. T. Major recommends that one should 
be placed at Ingwavuma, a healthy locality, 200 miles north 
of Etshowe, and from which he could superintend the whole 
district of Maputa. There are at Ingwavuma a doctor, a 
store, and a small English community. A great responsibility 
rests upon the Methodist Church to meet, if possible, the wants 
of the people, who are struggling amid the black waves of 
heathenism, and send forth their cry for help. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


THIS formidable Zulu word is the name of a very re- 
markable movement among the native Christians in 
Natal, having for its object the preaching of the 
Gospel to their heathen neighbours. It deserves to 
be chronicled as giving evidence of the existence of intellectual 
and spiritual forces which, rightly directed, may have a power- 
ful effect on the evangelization of the * Dark Continent.' If 
Africa is to be thoroughly Christianized it cannot be accom- 
plished by European agents and European money only ; it 
will have to be done by African teachers, and the financial 
support will have to be drawn from African sources. 

The word * unzondelelo ' is derived from * ukuzonda,* and 
means to desire earnestly, to follow after a thing. The New 
Testament, as translated into frontier Kafir, contains the word 
in two or three of its forms. * Ukuzondelela kwamu indlu 
yako kundidile ' — The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up 
(John ii. 17). So the natives adopted the form * unzondelelo * 
to indicate the zeal, the fervent desire, which had been 
awakened in their hearts for the salvation of their country- 
men. The name was chosen at. the Verulam meeting in 
August, 1876. The natives said at the time that its import 
was contained in St. Paul's words, * Brethren, my heart's 
desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be 
saved' (Rom. x. i). Such a feeling is new to the natives 
Only the love of Christ can constrain men to seek the salvation 
of their fellow-creatures. What a contrast to their attitude 
towards each other in their heathen state, when war and rob- 
bery were their dominant passions ! 

The movement commenced in 1874 ^^^®^ ^ remarkable 
revival at Jonono's Kop, in which the agents were native lay 
preachers. At Driefontein, Edendale, Indaleni, and Verulam 
there sprang up simultaneously an earnest desire amongst the 
native Christians to extend the work to the heathen beyond. 

399 Digitized by LnOOgle 


Daniel Msimang, Nathaniel Matebule, Stephanus Mini, Cor- 
nelius Matiwane, and many others, men of intelligence and 
high character, were at the head of the movement. In those 
days there were no native Synods and no native ministers. 
There was one native probationer, who was admitted on trial 
just as the movement was commencing. Calls came from 
the heathen for missionaries, which the European Synod could 
not respond to for want of both money and men. Many of 
the natives became dissatisfied. They felt that the work of 
evangelizing their countrymen was not proceeding fast enough, 
and were disposed to believe that this was the fault of the 
missionaries themselves. They believed that if they were 
allowed a freer hand greater results would be achieved. Most 
of the missionaries failed at first to understand the real nature 
of the movement, and looked upon it with apprehension, as 
likely to end in disorder and mischief. 

The first meeting was held at Edendale in August, 1875, 
and consisted wholly of native men and women, most of whom 
were Christians, but some who were not took part in the pro- 
ceedings. For days previous Edendale was a busy scene, as 
preparations were being made for the entertainment of the 
deputations from the other stations. Rooms were added to 
dwellings, verandahs were made into bedrooms, food was 
stored, and when the guests arrived from far and near the 
excitement deepened. For several days three meetings were 
held daily for prayer and conversation on the needs of the 
heathen. There was a fine missionary spirit manifested, an 
earnest desire to send the Gospel to those who were sitting in 
darkness ; and at the last meeting a collection, amounting to 
;^ioo, was made, and this sum was placed